Welcome to Ham Radio's Daily Satirical Newsletter

 EHAM      QTH     QRZ  ARRL      HRO      ICOM      KENWOOD     YAESU      6PM 145.130 NET

WEEKEND EDITION: Good morning from Cape Ann, 34 and sunny ..

ARRL Seeks News Editor

ARRL is seeking a ham with a professional journalism background to handle ARRL’s news function on a contract, remote basis. Candidates for ARRL News Editor should be plugged into the ham radio community, with a broad awareness of the major players (past and present) and the main issues (past, present, and potentially future) in the world of ham radio. Ideally, candidates will have professional journalism experience — in particular, having a well-developed sense of knowing a potential news story when they see one, as well as how and where to research leads.

The News Editor creates news stories that are posted on ARRL’s home page, and is responsible for publishing the weekly e-newsletter, The ARRL Letter, which is populated mainly by those stories and augmented by some special weekly material (a solar weather report, a contest calendar, a conventions calendar, etc.).

The News Editor is also responsible for creating the ARRL Audio News, a weekly audio show that presents stories from the home page and The ARRL Letter, and assembles the most relevant stories from ARRL home page into QST’s monthly “Happenings” column.

For more information, contact ARRL Publications & Editorial Manager Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY.

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio and the art of getting started ...

One of the regular topics of conversation in amateur radio, especially for those new to the community, is where to start? The sheer volume of available options is often overwhelming. If you've never encountered the complexity associated with this amazing hobby the experience can be disheartening and even demoralising.

In my early years I was results driven. Getting on air, making noise, logging a contact, adding a country, winning a contest, rinse and repeat, get better, do more. There have been numerous occasions when I came home from one of my adventures disappointed, sometimes bitterly so.

That happened for quite some time, until one day I realised that the journey in and of itself is the reward.

That might sound disingenuous, so let me illustrate.

This week I set-up an automatic beacon in my shack that can be heard by stations around the planet, letting me know just how far my signal can travel at any particular moment, using my own station antenna and local propagation. As projects go, it continues to be an adventure.

As you might recall, I like low power operation, truth be told, I love low power. The smaller, the better. Less is more and all that. I recently completed the first leg of a journey to set-up a permanent beacon. For years I'd been dabbling around the edges. On the weekend, whilst I was in my shack, I'd regularly set-up my computer and radio, set it to WSPR beacon and see what stations heard me. I couldn't turn my radio below 5 Watts, so that's what I used. Before you start, yes, I could turn down the volume, but that involves math and I wanted a result, now.

It filled a gap using WSPR, Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, like that. For a while, I improved on things by having a receiver set-up that monitored the bands all day every day and recently I turned it back on, with limited success, more on that shortly.

What I really wanted was to see where my signal was going, not what I could hear. I received a few emails suggesting that a ZachTek WSPR Desktop transmitter, built and sold by Harry, SM7PNV, would be just the ticket. It's a little metal box with USB and SMA connectors. One SMA for the supplied GPS antenna, used for location and time, the other for a transmit antenna. USB provides serial for configuration and power if it's operating in stand-alone mode. Yes, you can operate it without needing a computer and if you want it does band-hopping. After configuring it with things like your callsign and bands, you can plug-in the GPS, your antenna and power it via USB and it will run as an automatic 200 milliwatt WSPR beacon.

That device in turn prompted a journey to discover a more appropriate antenna, since my current station antenna uses an automatic tuner that won't get triggered by this tiny transmitter. That caused an exploration in how and where to mount any new antenna, with a side-trip into finding a specific anti-seize compound locally. To pick the mounting hardware, I had to get into wind loading, how strong my satellite dish mount might be, how to install and tune a multi-band antenna. The list just keeps growing and that voyage continues.

I'm tracking the requirements with a project specific check-list, just to make sure that I don't miss any steps and have a place to document new discoveries when they invariably hit me in the face. So-far, so-good.

The WSPR monitor receiver is currently connected to a generic telescopic dipole, mounted indoors, which in the past gave me a much better result than my station vertical, so I should be able to keep both running.

Next on the list is to construct a live propagation map for my station, then a way to switch modes on that map, so I can tell if it's worth calling CQ without going blue in the face. I'm also working on a WSPR transmitter for 2m and 70cm, because they are under served in my neck of the woods.

The takeaway from all this is that whilst there are many steps, and truth be told, that list is growing as I learn, each step is tiny and doable. The only thing that separates me from someone who doesn't know where to start, is this.

I started. You can too. Anywhere. Doesn't matter. Pick anything that tickles your fancy. Start digging. It's a hobby, not a profession. What ever floats your boat, what ever makes you excited, what ever you're interested in, pick it and do something, anything.

That's how you get anywhere in Amateur Radio, and Open Source, and life for that matter, just start.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

This ham radio is unsafe at any frequency

When we were kids we rode bicycles without pads and helmets. We drank sugary drinks. We played with chemistry sets and power tools. We also built things that directly used AC line current. [Mike] remembers and built one, presumably more to discuss the safety precautions around things that can shock you and not entice you to duplicate it. He calls it The Retro QRP Widowmaker, if that’s any kind of a hint. (Video of this unsafe transmitter also embedded below.)

The design showed up from time to time in old electronic magazines. Built on an open board and with no ground wire, the radio didn’t need a complex power supply. This wasn’t limited to transmitters, either. Some TVs and radios had a “hot chassis.” That’s why we were taught to touch an unknown chassis with the back of your hand first. A shock will contract your muscles and that will pull your arm away instead of making you grab the electrically active part.

For safety’s sake, [Mike] used an isolation transformer to keep from having a disaster. A big resistor drops a lot of voltage to supply the tube in the circuit. There was a neon bulb to indicate if you have your plugs the wrong way around making things dangerous.

We enjoyed [Mike’s] excellent code using an old J-38 style key. Not everyone uses a paddle or a keyboard. Nowadays, you don’t need high voltages for little transmitters. Also, $50 today is probably worth less than $10 was back then. If you have a hankering for vintage gear, try old transistors, instead.


Moon bouncing and radar imaging with LoRa

The LoRa radio protocol is well known to hardware hackers because of its Long Range (hence the name) but also its extremely low power use, making it a go-to for battery powered devices with tiny antennae. But what if the power wasn’t low, and the antenna not tiny? You might just bounce a LoRa message off the moon. But that’s not all.

The team that pulled off the LoRa Moonbounce consisted of folks from the European Space Agency, Lacuna Space, and the CA Muller Radio Astronomy Station Foundation which operates the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope. The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is no stranger to Amateur Radio experiments, but this one was unique.

Operating in the 70 cm Amateur Radio band (430 MHz) meant that the LoRa signal was not limited to the low power signals allowed in the ISM bands. The team amplified the signal to 350 Watts, and then used the radio telescope’s 25 Meter dish to direct the transmission toward the moon.

The result? Not only were they able to receive the reflected transmission using the same transceiver they modulated it with — an off the shelf IOT LoRa radio — but they also recorded the transmission with an SDR. By plotting frequency and doppler delay, the LoRa transmission was able to be used to get a radar image of the moon- a great dual purpose use that is noteworthy in and of itself.

LoRa is a versatile technology, and can even be used for tracking your High Altitude Balloon that’s returned to Terra Firma.


FRIDAY EDITION: Another day in paradise....Living on the island and on top of solid granite, the Radon gas level is high in the basement so I am having a remediation system installed next week to the tune of 1200 bucks...

The December PDF of the GEO Newsletter weather satellite publication produced by the Group for Earth Observation is now available for free download

The Group for Earth Observation's aim is to enable amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites that are in orbit or planned for launch in the near future.

Membership of GEO is free.

This edition includes:
-The ISS Sally Ride EarthKAM
- Sea Ice forming in Kuskokwim Bay
- La Palma Volcano: How Satellites help us Monitor Eruptions
- Currently Active Weather Satellites and Frequencies

Download the GEO Newsletter from

ST-4003W Time Adjustment Software for selected Icom Amateur Radios

The ST-4003W is a Windows based software, which allows you to set the radio's time from your PC's time by connecting your radio to a PC.

The software is available for the following Amateur radios (as of November 2021).

Also available to download for free from Google Play is an Android app called the ST-4003A.


To download the software please visit: ST-4003W Time Adjustment Software Download Page.

Before downloading this software, please thoroughly read the "ST-4003W Instructions” for installation details. You will need to use a USB cable to connect the radio to your PC. USB port types differ depending on the radio, so please check the radio's port type before preparing the cable.

A sudden drop in atmospheric radiation

Last month, a 'Cannibal CME' hit Earth, sparking the strongest geomagnetic storm in years.

You might think such a storm would boost radiation in Earth's atmosphere. In fact, the opposite happened. High-altitude balloons launched during the storm recorded a huge drop in cosmic rays.

See the data and find out why @ Spaceweather.com.

Two 160-Meter Events in December Give Nod to 1921 Transatlantic Tests

160-meter operators can revel in two opportunities in December that promise to fill the airwaves with activity to test skills and stations on that band. The events take place a century after the Transatlantic Tests of the 1920s, which ushered in the dawn of international amateur radio communication.

The annual ARRL 160-Meter Contest begins at 2200 UTC on Friday, December 3, and ends at 1559 UTC on Sunday, December 5. This 42-hour CW-only contest is most similar to the original Transatlantic Tests. This contest typically attracts a good crowd and presents a challenge to operator skill and station performance.

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) is planning to activate special call signs to commemorate the centenary of the Tests. Stations from the UK and Crown Dependencies will use up to seven different call signs, each having a “6XX” suffix: G6XX, England; GD6XX, Isle of Man; GI6XX, Northern Ireland; GJ6XX, Jersey; GM6XX, Scotland; GU6XX, Guernsey, and GW6XX, Wales. In addition, listen for UK stations appending the suffix “/2ZE” to the station’s call sign. Use of this commemorative suffix has been authorized for use December 1 – 26 by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator.

On December 12 — and not to be confused with the ARRL 160-Meter Contest — ARRL and the RSGB will jointly sponsoring the 160-Meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party. This 6-hour event will run from 0200 to 0800 UTC. The event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the successful Second Transatlantic Tests. Participating stations will operate only on CW, trying to contact the two official call sign activations, W1AW and GB2ZE. At times the stations may listen for callers 1 kHz above their transmitting frequency, to shift the pile-up from their transmit frequency. They may also periodically ask for DX callers only. The exchange is call sign and signal report.

During the QSO Party, ARRL will activate W1AW from Newington, Connecticut. RSGB will activate GB2ZE with help from a team of stations, including members of the GMDX Group of Scotland sharing the operating duties. GB2ZE commemorates the call sign of Paul Godley, 2ZE, who was sent by ARRL to the UK to lead the second Transatlantic Test in December 1921.

W1AW will be active for all 6 hours. Stations operating as GB2ZE will follow this schedule:

  • 0200 UTC, from the commemorative station at Ardrossan, Scotland

  • 0300 UTC, from GM3YTS.

  • 0400 UTC, from GM0GAV.

  • 0500 UTC, from MM0ZBH.

  • 0600 UTC, from MM0GPZ.

  • 0700 UTC, from GM4ZUK until 0800 UTC or until the band closes at sunrise.

The GMDX Group will award a quaich — a traditional Scottish drinking cup representing friendship — to the first stations in North America and the UK to complete contacts with both W1AW and GB2ZE during the QSO Party. A commemorative certificate will be available for download. Participants will not have to submit logs. The official logs from W1AW and GB2ZE will be used to determine the winners and for certificates.

For additional details, visit http://www.arrl.org/transatlantic or rsgb.org/main/activity/transatlantic-tests.

THURSDAY EDITION: Raining here on Cape Ann but all is well...Some activity on ten meters worth listening in on....

New Section Manager Appointed in Maine

Maine Section Manager Robert Gould, N1WJO, has resigned for personal reasons after serving since March 2020. Effective on December 3, ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, has appointed Phil Duggan, N1EP, of Milbridge as interim Section Manager to complete the current term, which ends on June 30, 2022.

Duggan is a retired US Navy electronics technician chief and active in emergency communications. He served previously as Maine Section Emergency Coordinator. Duggan has been active in promoting amateur radio, especially among youth.

Nominating petitions for the next Maine SM term of office are due at ARRL Headquarters no later than March 4, 2022. See the January 2022 issue of QST for the nomination announcement or the ARRL website for further details.

New web-based RSGB EMF calculator

The RSGB has launched a new version of the Society’s EMF calculator v11d which is now available in a new browser-based version as well as the spreadsheet version.

The web browser version does not require you to have Excel or another spreadsheet on your computer. It also has several great new features to make compliance checking simpler and quicker.

You can find both versions on the RSGB emf web pages or you can go direct to the new web version.

For the full list of new features see the RSGB’s main announcement

How ham radio signals are helping locate MH370

There has been world-wide reporting of the work done using amateur radio WSPR signals in an attempt to pinpoint the location of missing flight MH370

In addition to the Times and other national UK newspapers the story has also been covered by 9 News in Australia.

The surge of publicity on December 1 came as the result of the claim by Richard Godfrey that he had pinpointed the precise location of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean.

9 News says:

Mr Godfrey's research, which he claims will lead to the discovery of MH370 next year, is based on Global Detection and Tracking of Any Aircraft Anywhere (GDTAAA) software and Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) data.

WSPR can be best visualised as laser beams which criss-cross the world, with any disturbances logged in a database.

According to Mr Godfrey's research, GDTAAA combined with WSPR data provided hundreds of trackable radio signals every two minutes during the flight of the Boeing 777, allowing him to zero in on a critical search zone.

Read the full 9 News story and watch the TV Report at


WEDNESDAY EDITION: Good morning, late start due to getting quotes on materials at the lumber yard...Santa is getting back on the airwaves....

Propagation de K7RA

December 1, 2021

Last Friday's Propagation Forecast bulletin was delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday and K7RA hospitalization.

Average daily sunspot numbers for the reporting week, (November 18-24) were off by 4 points from 30.9 to 26.9, and average daily solar flux went from 80.8 to 80.1.

Average daily planetary A index moved from 7 to 7.9, and average daily middle latitude numbers went from 4.9 to 5.4.

Predicted solar flux is 92, 94 and 94 on November 29 to December 1, 88 on December 2-6, 82 on December 7-8, 85 on December 9-11, 82 and 80 on December 12-13, 78 on December 14-20, 80 on December 21, 82 on
December 22-26, 85 on December 27-30, and 82 on December 31 through January 4, 2022.

Predicted planetary A index is 8 on November 29, 5 on November 30 through December 2, 10 on December 3-4, 8 on December 5-6, 5 on December 7-11, then 8, 12 and 10 on December 12-14, 5 on December 15-16, then 8, 10 and 10 on December 17-19, 5 on December 20-23, 10 and 8 on December 24-25, and 5 on December 26 through January 7.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period November 26 to December 22, 2021 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH. This will be his final report.

"Geomagnetic field will be:
quiet on: December 5, 10, 12,
quiet to unsettled on: December 9, 11,
quiet to active on: November 28-30, December 2, 6, 8,
unsettled to active on: November 26-27, December 3-4, 7, 15,
Active to disturbed: December 1, (13-14,) 16, 19, 21-22,

"Solar wind will intensify on November (29-30), December (1,) 2-4,
14-15, and 29.

IARU Reports Another Over-the-Horizon Radar System is Under Construction in India

In October, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reported on the continuing run of over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) troublemakers that often cause severe interference on amateur radio bands — primarily in IARU Regions 1 and 3 but are audible in the rest of the world. Now, another threat is looming, IARU Region 1 says.

IARU Region 1 has cited a report by Alpha Defense India that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) premier radar development laboratory is working on an OTHR system to keep a close eye on Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean region. The system design has already been completed, according to the report. The prototype stage comes next.

According to the report, the radar prototype is to have two different types of radar arrays — a log-periodic wire antenna array and a broadband monopole antenna array. It is believed that the log-periodic antenna array will be used to determine the best maximum usable frequency (MUF), which is known to depend on current conditions in the ionosphere and the sunspot cycle. The monopole antenna will consist of a 32-element array. The actual system will be developed after extensive testing and evaluation, but the report gave no timeline or completion date.

“OTHRs often massively interfere with amateur radio,” the IARU Region 1 report said, citing the well-known Russian “Contayner” OTHR, an OTHR at the UK base in the Republic of Cyprus, and others in Iran and China. “They are present daily on several frequencies within the exclusive amateur radio HF bands,” IARU Region 1 said.

The best-known Chinese OTHR — called “Foghorn” because of its distinctive sound — has signals at varying sweep rates that occupy 10 kHz of spectrum. The IARUMS newsletter reported other OTHRs occupying 160 kHz of bandwidth with 10 scan-per-second rates.

“Depending on propagation, some familiar broadcast stations were also audible almost daily in Europe, including Radio Ethiopia on 7110 kHz with an often very strong signal,” the newsletter also reported.

ARISS contacts cancelled due to EVA changes

ARISS has announced that school contacts planned for Thursday, December 2 have been cancelled due to postponement of planned spacewalk by radio amateurs KI5LAL and KE5HOC

ARISS contacts scheduled with Wolfgang-Kubelka-Realschule (WKR), Schondorf am Ammersee, Germany and Berufliche Schule Direktorat 1 Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany have unfortunately been cancelled for this Thursday, December 2, 2021 due to EVA schedule changes on the ISS.

Early on November 30 NASA announced the spacewalk by radio amateurs Kayla Barron KI5LAL and Tom Marshburn KE5HOC had been postponed.

NASA said "The evening of Monday, Nov. 29, NASA received a debris notification for the International Space Station. Due to the lack of opportunity to properly assess the risk it could pose to the astronauts, teams have decided to delay the spacewalk planned for Tuesday, Nov. 30 until more information is available."

When an ISS EVA takes place the amateur radio stations on the ISS are switched off. It is likely that the ISS Slow Scan TV transmissions that had been planned for Dec 2 will not take place either.


TUESDAY EDITION: Well I went to the PO to buy the "forever stamps" and the girl behind the counter laughed and told me it was a scam. Mr. Mike emailed me and said he got scammed and his paypal account refused payment....

ARRL author, QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, SK

The ARRL report: Retired QST Technical Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR, of Westport, Connecticut, died on November 25. An ARRL member, he was 79. Hallas retired in 2013 but remained active as a contributing editor, handling the popular “The Doctor is In” column in QST and the podcast of the same name. He had been a radio amateur since 1955.

“Joel was not only brilliant, he shared that brilliance with the ham radio community in a way that taught innumerable hams things they needed to know in order to experience success and enjoyment,” said ARRL Publications and Editorial Department Manager Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY. “He was a fine mind, a generous mentor and colleague, and a consummate gentleman. He will be missed.”

Retired ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, recalled Hallas as “an iconic figure in amateur radio media as a prolific author of QST articles and ARRL books, and even in the audio podcast community. I greatly enjoyed being Joel’s sidekick for the popular ‘Doctor is In’ podcasts. He had a wry sense of humor both on and off the microphone and a remarkably stoic attitude toward the illness that would eventually claim his life.”

Hallas authored six books about communications technology, published by ARRL. His titles include Basic Radio; Basic Antennas; The ARRL Guide to Antenna Tuners; Hamspeak; The Care and Feeding of Transmission Lines; Understanding Your Antenna Analyzer, and The Radio Amateur’s Workshop.

Hallas earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MSEE from Northeastern University. He previously had worked for Raytheon as a radar systems engineer and for GTE as a nuclear weapons effects (electromagnetic pulse) analyst and as a satellite and terrestrial communications systems engineer, as well as for IBM and AT&T. He also taught at the college level.

He enjoyed sailing, as described in the July 2009 issue of QST. He and his 24-foot sloop Windfall — fully equipped with a ham station that used the insulated backstay as an HF antenna — graced the front cover.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Nancy, W1NCY. 

Port City marks 80 years since start of World War II with 'Wartime Wilmington Week'

Eighty years ago, residents of Wilmington, along with the rest of the country, were shocked to hear of the deadly Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, an act that marked the beginning of the United States' entry into World War II. 

In Wilmington, Wilbur Jones was only 7 years old on Dec. 7, 1941. But he still remembers where he was and what he was doing when he heard about the attack: playing in the sun room of his family's Forest Hills home while listening to a radio broadcast — on WMFD, the only Wilmington station at the time — of an NFL game between Washington and Philadelphia. 

World War II changed the course of his life, Jones said recently. As a child, he closely followed the war in the papers. Time spent reenacting battles in the woods near his home led him to a career in the Navy, where he would go on to serve for 41 years.

After returning home to Wilmington, Jones, who's also a published author with multiple books to his credit, focused his efforts on preserving the history of what's now known as the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center downtown, which, as it happens, first opened 80 years ago, in December of 1941.   FULL ARTICLE

MONDAY EDITION: 34 degrees and a good day for hamming.....$39 dollars today at the Post Office for 100 forever stamps, get your butt down to the post office.....The NE Patriots are doing a lot better than I thought they would, exciting to watch....

K1TP back row left, 1962 tenth grade....

Slow-Scan TV Transmissions from ISS Set for December 1 - 2

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) plan to transmit slow-scan TV (SSTV) images on December 1 – 2 on 145.800 MHz FM using SSTV mode PD120.

The transmissions from RS0ISS will be part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will originate in the Russian ISS Service Module (Zvezda) using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. Transmissions are scheduled for December 1 from 1210 – 1910 UTC and December 2 from 1140 – 1720 UTC. Dates and times are subject to change.

The signal should be receivable on a handheld transceiver with a quarter-wave whip antenna. Use the widest channel spacing.

Predictions for ISS pass times are available on the AMSAT website. Visit the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) SSTV blog for more information.

Announcement of New Senior Leadership Team

In May 2020, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, Inc. (ARISS-USA) created a new 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization to enhance and expand ARISS initiatives in the USA. To support the variety of new functions and roles of this organization, ARISS-USA has augmented its Senior Leadership team by selecting five new members.

Martin Schulman, Associate Director: In this role, Mr. Schulman will work with the Executive Director, delegating routine tasks, enhancing perspective, and serving as a backup to the executive director when necessary.  He will also serve as a member of the ARISS-USA board.  Mr. Schulman has over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, programming, and computer security, and is also an active volunteer with the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club in Sterling, Virginia.

Tom Henderson, Secretary: In this role, Mr. Henderson will have the primary duty of ensuring that the internal matters of the organization run smoothly and efficiently. He will record and keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board. Mr. Henderson also serves as the custodian of the ARISS-USA Minute Book and additional books and records as the Board may direct. Mr. Henderson’s profession is IT infrastructure and systems security research. He is also current president of the Bloomington, Indiana Amateur Radio Club.

Jena Dunham, Director of Volunteer Resources: Ms. Dunham will be responsible for the recruitment, basic training, and retention of volunteers needed to complete ARISS-USA’s mission. She will also maintain the volunteer database, manage subscriptions to the mailing lists, and generate policies regarding volunteer conduct. Ms. Dunham is an experienced nurse practitioner in the state of Kansas and has served as a volunteer for 4-H and the Stormont Vail hospital system.

Rita DeHart, Director of Public Engagement: Ms. DeHart will be responsible for raising public awareness of the ARISS program. This includes the management of all communication methods with the public (including, but not limited to, website, press releases, articles, and all forms of social media). She will also be responsible for the management of conference participation. Ms. DeHart has 46 years in the electric power industry and is an active member of the Tampa Amateur Radio Club.

Randy Berger, Director of Engineering: Mr. Berger is responsible for planning and executing the development of hardware and software systems that will enhance the primary goals of ARISS-USA, specifically STEM education and backup communications for crew members on human spaceflight vehicles. Mr. Berger’s scope of engineering involvement will support the efforts of ARISS and includes everything within the engineering purview of ARISS, such as ISS, Lunar Gateway, satellite developments, and future government and commercial space ventures. International collaboration and coordination on systems and engineering strategies will be paramount in this role along with the understanding of national and international collaboration laws and constraints (such as ITAR) that is critically important in this role. Mr. Berger is an experienced technology officer and has been involved with amateur radio since the 1970s.

The new team members will join veteran leaders Frank Bauer (Executive Director), Carol Jackson (Treasurer), and Kathy Lamont (Director of Education). The Senior Leadership Team will work closely with long-time ARISS US Delegates Rosalie White (ARRL) and Dave Taylor (AMSAT).

Catching the chatter

Dr Sunil Furtado writes in the Deccan Herald newspaper about Short Wave Listening in the 1980's

Growing up in Mangalore in the ’80s, our entertainment was limited to a visit to movie theatres on weekends, short drives to the beach or watching national television. My father had subscribed for me a magazine called Target aimed at middle and high schoolers. An issue had two articles on radio communications as a hobby; one on HAM radio and the other on Dxing- D for distance and X for the unknown.

Dxing involved listening to overseas radio stations and writing reception reports using the postal service. HAM radio sets were expensive, had to be imported and required a government license. Dxing required a simple radio receiver.

I wrote a letter to the author based in Chennai, requesting more details. He promptly replied by sending cyclostyle copies of addresses of international stations, their frequencies and information on setting up a basic antenna.

Read the full story at

Using an Arduino to upgrade a 1970s ham radio

Al Williams WD5GNR writes on Hackaday about upgrading the vintage Icom IC-245 with an Arduino

Old radios didn’t have much in the way of smarts. But as digital synthesis became more common, radios often had as much digital electronics in them as RF circuits. The problem is that digital electronics get better and better every year, so what looked like high-tech one year is quaint the next. [IMSAI Guy] had an Icom IC-245 and decided to replace the digital electronics inside with — among other things — an Arduino.

Read the Hackaday post and watch the video at

Comoros Islands

Members of the F6KOP Radio Club are planning to activate Comoros Islands (AF-007) with a multi-national 12 operator team sometime between mid-to-end January in 2022.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters, using CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8/FT4, with 5 stations as well as QO-100 satellite operations. Their callsign is pending.

Look for more details to be forthcoming. A Web page (under construction) is available at: https://comores2022.wordpress.com


Operators Tom DL7BO and Tom DJ6TF will be active as Z22O and Z21A, respectively, from Harare, Zimbabwe, between December 2-15th.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4.

Their equipment are two Icom IC-7300 transceivers and 1kw amplifier using 18m GP for low bands.

QSL both callsigns via DJ6TF, for Ukraine stations via UY5ZZ or LoTW

WEEKEND EDITION: 7AM and I am listening to CW on 10 anf 15 meters, no SSB signals...who said CW was dead?

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Right now it's 10:45

That piece of information is unhelpful without any context. I could just as easily have told you that it's 2:45 and it would be just as accurate, helpful and meaningless. The point being that without context, you don't know if I'm an insomniac, drinking morning tea, recovering from a late lunch or putting on my PJs.

If I'm talking to people in the same room, supplying the time happens within the context of that room, but if the world is our oyster, our room is a little larger and dawn for one person is dusk for another, at the same time.

Before we could communicate at the speed of light and travel faster than a bullet, time was a relative thing related to the location of the Sun and considered mainly by mariners and astronomers. Even with the advent of increasingly accurate clocks, for most people, noon was when the Sun was at its highest point and the local clock was set to that.

When our world got smaller, because communication and travel got faster, people started noticing that noon in one place wasn't the same as noon in another place. It became a real problem when people travelled hundreds of kilometres by train in a day. Imagine coming up with a train time-table that takes into account each local version of noon.

In an attempt to deal with this, railroad managers in the United States established 100 railroad time zones. This malarkey continued until the 18th of November 1883 when four standard time zones were established for the continental United States.

Of course, being human and all, that was a local solution. Great Britain had already established its own standards for time for England, Scotland and Wales.

In October 1884, the International Meridian Conference, held in Washington DC, adopted a proposal that designated the Prime Meridian for longitude and timekeeping should be the one that passes through the centre of the transit instrument at the Greenwich Observatory in the United Kingdom and established Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT as the world's time standard.

Why Greenwich? At the time the United Kingdom had more ships and shipping using Greenwich as their reference than the rest of the world put together and the observatory at Greenwich had produced the highest quality data for a long time. As an aside, on a French map before 1911, 0 degrees was centred over Paris. There are other wrinkles, like the fact that Earth isn't round and as a result the Greenwich Prime Meridian is not quite in the right spot because measurements didn't take into account local variations in gravity.

In 1972, Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC replaced GMT as the standard for time in the world. It now references the International Reference Meridian, currently about a 102.5m east of the original Prime Meridian passing through Greenwich. It's on the move with reference to land because tectonic plates shift and where it is today is not where it's going to be tomorrow, so don't go looking for a marker to indicate the IRM.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world people needed to come to terms with how to standardise on what to call time zones. The USA establishing four time zones was just for one country. Depending on who's counting, there's over 200 countries and each has its own set of time zones. Which each might include daylight saving, or not. For some, like VK6, daylight saving was voted on several times. Trials were had and time changes during summer were implemented, then reversed, then reversed again, and again, in total, VK6 did this dance six times and we currently don't observe daylight saving, neither does VK4 or VK8.

So, not only does 10:45 require location context, it also requires that you know if there's daylight saving happening at that time in that location, which to add insult to injury, doesn't actually happen on the same date each year. It gets better if you consider time in another location. Do they have daylight saving, is it on at the time, do we have daylight saving at that time, how many hours are we apart, when is this actual event and what if we're coordinating efforts between people in multiple locations? Did I mention that summer in Europe is in July and in Australia it's in January?

In case you're wondering, tracking all this is a massive job currently under the purview of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. The person coordinating this, whilst wrangling the politics of naming things, including dealing with warring countries who take umbrage at having their time zone named after "the enemy" is computer scientist Paul Eggert, the project lead of the time zone database.

War aside, time zones are political. For example, Dublin Time was stamped out by the British as punishment for the Easter Rising.

If that wasn't exciting enough, to provide local context, we use abbreviations to indicate which location we're talking about. In VK6 that abbreviation is WST, simple enough, Western Standard Time. What if your abbreviation was CST? Is that Central Standard Time in North America, China Standard Time, Cuba Standard Time, or even Australian Central Standard Time. If your local time zone is IST, you could be referring to Indian Standard Time, Israel Standard time, Irish Standard Time or even Irish Summer Time.

As radio amateurs we hold global contests and we advertise our online club meetings and events. Often, we refer to times and dates that might be understood by an audience of one, but utterly confusing to the rest of the world.

So, what do you do with this?

Simple, use UTC. My timezone, called WST, or AWST, is UTC+8. F-troop, a weekly net for new and returning amateurs runs every Saturday morning at midnight UTC, that's 0:00 UTC. No confusion, no daylight saving, everyone can figure out if it's worth being awake for and I must applaud the amateurs from G-land and PA with their contributions in the very, very early hours of their morning.

So, next time you make some noise about a contest, or any amateur activity that goes beyond the people in your suburb, specify the time in UTC. Who knows, perhaps one day, even the likes of SpaceX, Apple and Google will start using UTC to announce their events ...

As Goldie Hawn put it: "Well, in my time zone that's all the time I have, but maybe in your time zone I haven't finished yet. So stay tuned!"

I'm Onno VK6FLAB


Bouvet Island 3Y0J DXpedition news - 3Y0J ZOOM meetings!

Ken, LA7GIA, Co-Leader of the 3Y0J DXpedition, posted the following on FaceBook [edited]:
While I was in TL operating CW+FT8 simultaneously, some of the Bouvet antennas arrived in my gararage -

More antennas are currently being shipped from our sponsors Spiderbeam and DXEngineering. For the lowband we will have a combination of spider-poles and aluminium antennas - two different technologies. That is a red
thread throughout the project. Always plan for several options, different technologies and backups and backups. We're confident our antenna strategy is well funded and well thought through. We have developed an antenna layout, a backup and spare part philosophy that will survive 35 to 40 m/s. All together we're confident this philosophy will produce strong signals all over the world as shown in our propagation analysis.

We have been working closely with a world leading propagation analyst, and our HFTA analysis includes the most updated terrain on Bouvet, and its impact on our signals. It all looks very promising!

All this, the antenna farm and the propagation predition will be on the Agenda when we launch our series of Zoom meetings for our Premier sponsors. People who just want access to these meeting can support us
with donating 26 USDs through our (www.3y0j.no) website to gain access.

In these meetings we will present various topics, you will meet some our team members, interact with us, and we will have a Q&A session. Want to attend the meeting? Please visit our website (www.3y0j.no) and buy access.

Our first meeting is being planned weekend 4th and 5th December - if you already are a sponsor, check your email soon for a Zoom invitation link. We have sent out invitations to 60 persons who have gained access
to these meeting! Agenda first meeting December 4th:

* Intro * HFTA propagation analysis
* Antenna plans * Q&A
* Antenna layout

73, Ken LA7GIA,
and the 3Y0J team

India to develop HF OTH Radar ?

A report on the Alpha Defense site suggests India may be building its own HF Over The Horizon (OTH) Radar

The site says:

In a big development, the premier radar development lab of DRDO is working on an “Over-the-Horizon” OTH radar system to keep a close eye on Chinese movement in Indian ocean region (IOR). The Indo-pacific is now turning out to be the most important part of the world today. For India, this part of the world is even more important as it is India’s Backyard.

LRDE – Electronics & Radar Development Establishment is a working on a OTH prototype. The Defence Research and Development Organization’s Lab responsible for development of cutting-edge radar technology is working with its partners to realise an over the horizon radar prototype in coming 6 months. The system design is already complete and its now entering prototype realization stage

The prototype radar will have two different type of radar arrays. The wire log-periodic antenna array and broadband monopole array. It is believed the log-periodic antenna array will be used to identify the best frequency to use.

Read the full story at

Dayton Hamvention expects to be live event in 2022

Dayton Hamvention® organizers are planning to mount the first in-person show in 2022, following 2 years of COVID-related cancellations. The event is set for May 20 – 22 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Last January, Hamvention organizers from the sponsoring Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) announced they were calling off the 2021 event after considerable planning was already under way. The Hamvention Executive Committee cited lagging COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the US and the emergence of a more communicable form of the virus.

Southgate Amateur Radio News quotes Hamvention General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, as saying that Hamvention committees “have been meeting, and volunteers are committed to making up for the time lost to pandemic cancellations.” The Hamvention website is already accepting bookings from vendors and inside exhibitors, and individual visitors can already buy tickets, which Allnutt said, “are all printed and ready to go.”

Nominations for the 2022 Hamvention Awards opened on November 1. Hamvention seeks “the best of the best” nominees for its Technical Achievement, Special Achievement, Amateur of the Year, and Club of the Year awards. Nominations close on February 15, 2022. Submit nomination forms via email or USPS to Hamvention Awards Committee, Box 964, Dayton, OH 45401-0964

Contest University (CTU) will take place on May 19 in conjunction with the annual Hamvention Super Suite activities, which will be moving to the Hope Hotel in Dayton. In addition to CTU, these activities will include the Top Band Dinner, the Contest Dinner, and the KC DX Club’s CW-copying competition, among other possible events.

THANKSGIVING DAY EDITION: I wish you all a relaxing day with family and friends....

Fall ARRL Section Manager election results

The only contested seat for Section Manager (SM) in the Fall election cycle was in Kansas, where incumbent Ron Cowan, KB0DTI, of La Cygne, came out on top in the two-person race. Cowan outpolled challenger Lloyd Colston, of Arkansas City, 260 to 225. Ballots were counted on November 23 at ARRL Headquarters. Cowan has served as Kansas Section Manager since 2003. His new 2-year term will begin on January 1, 2022.

In Alabama, Roger Parsons, KK4UDU, of Mulga, will become the new Section Manager on January 1. Parsons was the only nominee for the position. He has been an Assistant Section Manager and a District Emergency Coordinator. Incumbent SM JVann Martin, W4JVM, who has served as the Alabama Section Manager since 2016, decided not to run for a new term.

In Michigan, Les Butler, W8MSP, of Gregory, will become the new Section Manager of Michigan when the new year arrives. He was the only nominee to submit a petition by the nomination deadline. Butler will succeed incumbent Michigan Section Manager Jim Kvochick, K8JK, whose job will take him out of the state early next year. Kvochick has been Michigan SM since 2018.

In Delaware, the Section Manager position remains open and a re-solicitation for nominees will be issued this winter for an 18-month term beginning on July 1, 2022. No nominating petitions were submitted before the deadline in September. Incumbent Section Manager Mark Stillman, KA3JUJ, is moving out of the Section early next year and could not run for another term after serving as Delaware SM since 2020.

These incumbent Section Managers faced no opposition and were declared elected for new terms: David Stevens, KL7EB (Alaska); Mike Patterson, N6JGA (East Bay); Bill Mader, K8TE (New Mexico); John Kitchens, NS6X (Santa Barbara); David Thomas, KM4NYI (Tennessee), and Raymond Lajoie, AA1SE (Western Massachusetts).

Benson Hamfest, the classic!

There are only a few hamfest‘s that I would classify as 'classic'. The Benson Hamfest in Benson, North Carolina is one of those. It has your typical environment of a large parking lot with people parking their cars and selling tables full of old Ham Radio gear out of them.

It has a large grill cooking thick hamburgers for everyone to enjoy at lunch. Inside there are long tables with vendors selling either used equipment, test equipment, wire antennas, in various and sundry different things that are difficult to find. This is usually one of the better attended hamfest but it is a smaller one. Big enough that you can go around and see everything in a couple of hours, have a hamburger and then go home.

This year I woke up at 4am and drove with Doug K4ROK and his daughter and son-in-law. When we arrived, we set up tables out in front of his minivan and unloaded a lot of equipment that came from two different estates. He managed to sell a lot of the stuff sitting out there enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Half of the time there’s a lot more talking about radios and experiences than selling. It is a good time to have “eyeball QSO’s”.

The mission to go to the hamfest was just to look and not buy anything. Oh well, the best laid plans went astray. The first thing I find is what looks like an aluminum box off a ship that is some kind of tuner for 160 meters. Looks like it has potential. Get it home, clean it up and paint it so that it can hide in the bushes and tune a hidden antenna!

Other things that I could not live without soon appeared in my bag like antenna wire, chokes and baluns. Of course you cannot have enough adapters from the RF Connection (yeah Joel!). Finally two thick hamburgers later, we went home and took a nap! The end of a perfect hamfest day. Look forward to the next one as I know I forgot to buy something.

This time I will bring things to sell!

73 Peter, N4PVH

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I love Thanksgiving, just food, family, and TV. No radio allowed...

Radio ham has over 500 wireless sets

France 3 TV reports on keen radio enthusiast Bernard Pottin F6CND who has more than 500 wireless sets

Bernard Pottin has been collecting for twenty years old radio sets. In the garage of his house in Bouquigny, in the Marne, he has accumulated more than 500.

Bernard Pottin spends hours in his garage in Bouquigny, west of Epernay in the Marne, repairing his radio sets. The oldest can only pick up long wave.

Bernard has been passionate about radio since childhood. "At my parents' house, there were TSF [wireless telegraphy] stations where you could listen to amateur radio," he says. This is where the passion was born. I became a radio amateur in 1972. Then I developed this collection about twenty years ago."

Bernard sometimes manages to receive BBC programs in the United Kingdom, "but very weakly". Destroyed by television and replaced by transistors, the wireless counts its last hours of reception on the long waves.

Triumph of the Amateurs - The Transatlantic Tests of 1921

The Antique Wireless Museum has released a video of the talk given by Edward Gable K2MP and Mark Erdle AE2EA about the successful amateur radio Transatlantic Tests of 1921

Early in the twentieth century Amateur Radio Operators had been exiled to the wavelengths shorter than 200 meter's as part of a power play by large communication companies and the US government to set aside what they thought were the most desirable radio spectrum for themselves, leaving the shortwave wasteland below 200 meters to hams, but in 1921 a small group of radio amateurs performed an experiment that proved hams really had the better end of the deal.

Ed Gable, K2MP, and Mark Erdle, AE2EA, tell the story of the Transatlantic Tests of 1921, which were conceived of by radio amateurs, and proved that even with modest equipment, the Atlantic Ocean could be spanned with shortwave signals, opening up improved communications for many more purposes. These "short" wavelengths below 200 meters had been considered useless by commercial and governmental interests, resulting in the Radio Act of 1912 banning amateur activity in the wavelengths longer than 200 meters.

As a result of the successful efforts of radio amateurs in Transatlantic Test Project , over the last 100 years many experimenters and inventors became focused on continually improving wireless technologies and devices. The direct results of that inventing are the smart phones, smart watches, smart TVs, wireless Internet routers, GPS tracking devices, and Bluetooth headsets, all of which depend on wireless technologies. Those pioneers 100 years ago could never have envisioned the way society has been enabled and transformed by wireless!

For more information visit http://1BCG.org

Watch Triumph of the Amateurs - The Transatlantic Tests of 1921

Surprise: Some red auroras are 'not' auroras

The biggest geomagnetic storm in years erupted this month, Nov. 4th, after a CME slammed into Earth's magnetic field.

Red auroras spread as far south as California and New Mexico.

Upon closer inspection, however, not all of the lights were auroras.

Full story @ Spaceweather.com.

Six ways shoebox-sized satellites are trying to change the world

The BBC News website has a fascinating article on the use of Cubesats.
It says:

The CubeSat is a small but mighty bit of tech. About the size of a shoebox, the tiny satellites were invented by Professor Bob Twiggs in 1999 as an educational tool for students.

"They couldn't put very much in it, which was the real challenge. It forced them to quit adding things to their designs," Bob says, laughing.

Quicker and cheaper to build and launch than conventional satellites, there are now hundreds of CubeSats orbiting Earth, made by universities, start-ups and governments.

Here we look at six exciting projects that are trying to change the world...

Read the full BBC News article at:

TUESDAY EDITION: Wow, 32  degrees this morning. ..I replaced the electrolytics in the R55a receiver I am working on and still a hum. So I am going to look at the wring diagram and see if the previous ham miswired the cap replacement he tried and never finished. I got the radio with two caps hooked only on one end, one was supposed to have a resistor wrapped around it in parallel and that was missing....anyways, the project lingers on as I have time and the motivation to complete  it.,....

Hams in Space

Raja Chari, KI5LIU, is the newest commander of a NASA space mission. Raja and his three fellow members of SpaceX Crew-3 are now aboard the International Space Station.

It promises to be a busy six months for the crew, which includes Matthias Maurer KI5KFH from the European Space Agency. The German astronaut will be involved in more than 35 experiments while on board the ISS. He will also be using the German callsign DP0ISS during a dozen scheduled contacts with German schools through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program.

The first of those contacts is set for a school in Bavaria sometime between the 29th of November and the 5th of December.

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW



The Energous WattUp 1W PowerBridge transmitter is approved for unlimited distance wireless charging in Europe

A 1W system from Energous has been approved for free-space charging in Europe

The 1W WattUp PowerBridge transmitter complies with European technical requirements for radio equipment and follows the recent FCC approval in the US. This allows designers to use the WattUp system to provide wireless power pver several metres to asset tracking tags such as those from Wiliot in France, electronic shelf labels and industrial IoT sensors.

The technology was developed with Dialog Semiconductor, now part of Renesas Electronics.

GaN-based wireless charging transmitter sees US certification

e-peas, Energous team for free space wireless charging
Energous, Wiliot team for battery-free IoT tags

“This approval for WattUp over-the-air charging at any distance in Europe enhances our ongoing partnership with Energous and our ability to bring OTA wireless power solutions to customers in Europe,” said Markus Schriebl, chief executive officer, TAGnology. “This opens up additional opportunities for Energous’ WattUp wireless power networks in Europe and allows us together to offer manufacturers in the region more approved WattUp-enabled wireless power options for a wide range of applications.”

“This major regulatory approval for Energous’ breakthrough technology opens many additional opportunities in Europe and around the world, including batteryless IoT devices and wearables,” said Sanjay Gupta, president of AirFuel Alliance. “AirFuel members continue to work closely with regulators to open up compliant pathways for wireless power to be transmitted over-the-air, benefiting manufacturers, consumers, and the environment alike.”

“Energous continues to offer the widest array of industry-leading wireless power transfer technologies in the market today,” said Cesar Johnston, acting CEO of Energous. “This latest regulatory approval is a testament of Energous’ leadership in the industry. We are excited to work with our partners in Europe as they develop new WattUp-enabled devices.”

MONDAY EDITION: I woke up to beeps and alarms on my Iphone, Tornado warning. That is a first....

Dayton Hamvention is a 'Go'

Dayton Hamvention 2022 is not just going to be a premier hamfest but a reunion, as organizers prepare for the first gathering at the Xenia Fairground and Expo Center in Ohio after two years of cancellations.

Hamvention's general chairman Rick Allnut WS8G said in a phone interview that committees have been meeting and volunteers are committed to making up for the time lost to pandemic cancellations.

Hamvention will be happening on Friday May 20th through Sunday May 22nd with an international reception scheduled on Thursday May 19th. Rick said the registration site is already taking bookings from vendors and inside exhibitors and individual visitors can already buy their tickets. All details are available on the hamvention.org website.

RIck said: "Tickets are all printed and ready to go."

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The Rebirth of Homebrew

On the 12th of December 1961, before I was born, before my parents met, the first amateur radio satellite was launched by Project OSCAR. It was a 10 kilo box, launched as the first private non-government spacecraft. OSCAR 1 was the first piggyback satellite, launched as a secondary payload taking the space of a ballast weight and managed to be heard by over 570 amateurs across 28 countries during the 22 days it was in orbit. It was launched just over four years after Sputnik 1 and was built entirely by amateurs for radio amateurs.

In the sixty years since we've come a long way. Today high school students are building and launching CubeSats and several groups have built satellites for less than a $1,000. OSCAR 76, the so-called "$50SAT" cost $250 in parts. It operated in orbit for 20 months. Fees for launching a 10cm cubed satellite are around $60,000 and reducing by the year.

If that sounds like a lot of money for the amateur community, consider that the budget for operating VK0EK, the DXpedition to Heard Island in 2016 was $550,000. Operation lasted 21 days.

I'm mentioning all this in the context of homebrew. Not the alcoholic version of homebrew, the radio amateur version, where you build stuff for your personal enjoyment and education.

For some amateurs that itch is scratched by designing and building a valve based power amplifier, for others it means building a wooden Morse key. For the members of OSCAR it's satellites. For me the itch has always been software.

Sitting in my bedroom in the early 1980's, eyeballs glued to the black and white TV that was connected to my very own Commodore VIC-20 was how I got properly bitten by that bug, after having been introduced to the Apple II at my high school.

I'm a curios person. Have always been. In my work I generally go after the new and novel and then discover six months down the track that my clients benefit from my weird sideways excursion into something or other.

Right now my latest diversion is the FPGA, a Field Programmable Gate Array. Started watching a new series by Digi-Key about how to use them and the experience is exhilarating.

One way to simply describe an FPGA is to think of it as a way to create a virtual circuit board that can be reprogrammed in the field. You don't have to go out and design a chip for a specific purpose and deal with errors, upgrades and supply chain issues, instead you use a virtual circuit and reprogram as needed. If you're not sure how powerful this is, you can program an FPGA to behave like a Motorola 65C02 microprocessor, or as a RISC CPU, or well over 200 other open source processor designs, including the 64-bit UltraSPARC T1 microprocessor.

I'm mentioning this because while I have a vintage HP606A valve based signal generator that I'm working on restoring to fully working. Homebrew for me involves all that the world has to offer. I don't get excited about solder and my hands and eyes are really not steady enough to manage small circuit designs, but tapping keys on a keyboard, that's something I've been doing for a long time.

Another thing I like about this whole upgraded view of homebrew is that we as radio amateurs are already familiar with building blocks. We likely don't design a power supply from scratch, or an amplifier, or the VFO circuit. Why improve something that has stood the test of time? In my virtual world, I too can use those building blocks. In FPGA land I can select any number of implementations of a Fourier Transform and test them all to see which one suits my purpose best.

In case you're wondering. My Pluto SDR is looking great as a 2m and 70cm beacon, transmitting on both bands simultaneously. It too has an FPGA on board and I'm not afraid to get my keyboard dirty trying to tease out how to best make use of that.

What homebrew adventures have you been up to?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Vibroplex Resurrection

Some of my favorite projects have been the restoration of old, dirty, neglected un-loved telegraph keys. Favorite among these are the venerable Vibroplexes. They are lovely instruments and first above all in telegraphy.  Several have passed through my hands on their way to a better life.

May I share with you some thoughts on the restoration of these flagship instruments?

Well, first we come to a complete disassembly. If you have trepidation here, your digital camera is your friend. I have watched several YouTube videos of things of all sorts being taken apart for repair or cleaning or restoration. Everything from telegraph keys to guns to clocks to whatever. Almost universally, the parts are simply removed and left to rattle around on the bench/designated work area. Not a good idea unless you have some affection for crawling around on the floor looking for some irreplaceable part . . .  Just get a pie pan or something to put the parts in and keep the critters corralled!

Next after complete disassembly comes a thorough cleaning of the parts. Some keys have come to me with some sort of nicotine varnish from decades of use by addicted operators. Others came from shacks that were obviously in the chicken coup. Many people have recommended soaking these encrusted parts in white vinegar but I don’t like this as vinegar is an acid and although a mild acid it is still an acid. I like to soak these dirty parts in ammonia. After a few hours they will come out sparkling clean. Then put the little parts in a large size tea strainer and rinse with hottest of hot water. Now dry them with a soft cloth and let the air dry.

Speaking of soft cloths; Wal-Mart sells flannel by the yard and it’s pretty cheap.

Sometimes some of the parts that are not chrome plated will be rusty. I like a product from HAPPICH called Semichrome (available at your local motorcycle shop – not to be getting distracted here!) to clean up the rust – work carefully here as these parts are not robust.

Once the chrome parts a very clean and completely dry, I like to give then a coat of paste wax. There is an old can of Simonize car wax in my garage . . .

Now, the base will also be nasty. First we will remove the brass plate. Use a 1/16” punch to drive out the drive pins. I like to use hot water, Dawn dishwashing soap and a fingernail brush. Rinse him off with hot water so he will air dry nicely.

Here is what I’ve done with the brass tags: they are coated with a clear varnish and the tarnish is underneath this coating. I soak the tags in fingernail polish remover overnight and then scrub carefully to complete the removal of the coating. Now you can use some Semichrome to polish the brass. I have made a tiny brush made from a cutoffed and frayed toothpick and some fingernail polish to carefully paint the bug. Once dry you might spray the tag with some clear whatever.

We will take a moment here to thank HER for all HER help! 

I like to repaint the bases but some don’t – your call. If you repaint note that the countersunk holes on the bottom must be free of paint as electrical contact is made thru them. I have mostly simply sprayed over the original finish with excellent results. Vibroplexes are mostly semi-gloss black but really, do they have to be?!

Now let’s look at the dit and dah contacts. If your key is old enough to have been used with a cathode keyed transmitter, the contacts will probably be pitted. I like to work these pits out using a readily available “points burnisher”. This is a small, very fine file. Then. I use some of the Semichrome on a flannel cloth and polish the contacts to a bright shine. On the Vibroplex website we are admonished to make sure that these contacts are perfectly flat and close perfectly square. In the world that we live in, this is a reality that is not going to come about; make one of them flat and the other one a bid rounded and all will be fine.

Reassembly is reasonably straightforward but you will be paying close attention to where all of the insulators go. If you get lost, there are parts diagrams on the Vibroplex website (thank you very much!). The older keys have fiber washers under the dit and dah posts. If these are beyond reuse, check your local hardware store for nylon washers of the appropriate size. You will be paying careful attention to the alignment of the contacts both vertically and horizontally.

The rubber feet will be hard as – well, they will be hard! You need to replace them with new rubber (not hard plastic) feet from the hardware store – or from Vibroplex. If you reuse the old hard ones the thing will slide all over the place in use

If the plating is deteriorated on the bottom connector straps you have two options: clean and use as is (my favorite) or see father Google re various DIY plating processes.

The stuff that I have undoubtedly left out should be easy enough to figure out.

Have fun!

Bill, W0WCA


Novel SSB transceiver design with only seven transistors

Ryan Flowers W7RLF writes on Hackaday about a simple 7 transistor QRP SSB transceiver

When Pete Juliano N6QW sat down to design a sideband transceiver for the 20 Meter (14 MHz) ham radio band, he eschewed the popular circuits that make up so many designs. He forged ahead, building a novel design that he calls Pete’s Simple Seven SSB Transceiver, or PSSST for short.

What makes the PSSST so simple is not only its construction, but the low component count. The same circuit using four 2N2222A’s is used on both transmit and receive.

Read the full Hackaday post at

FUNcube-1 (AO73) celebrating eight years in orbit!

November 21, 2021, marked the eighth birthday of the FUNcube-1 CubeSat. Remarkably the tiny spacecraft, launched from Russia on November 21, 2013, continues to work well having travelled more than a billion kilometres in space

During the past couple of months, the spacecraft’s orbits have been running just along the edge of the terminator. Initially we had  effectively full sun with no eclipses but at the beginning of this month it appears that the solar panels were not receiving enough solar radiation to keep the battery fully charged.  

FUNcube-1 was transmitting continuous high-power telemetry and was therefore consuming maximum power. The screenshot is from the AMSAT-UK/BATC groundstation at Goonhilly Earth Station. The FUNcube Dashboard shows the rapid decline in the bus voltage from an already below normal 8.0V down to 7.8V. The spacecraft was switched to “safe” mode on the afternoon of November 18th. This reduced to total power consumption by almost 50% and, as can been seen, the spacecraft is again in a happy “power positive” situation.

Although safe mode provides less than 20mW of downlink RF, it is remarkable how many stations are still receiving and decoding the 1k2 BPSK telemetry. This is a good point at which to say a massive thank you to the many many stations around the world who, even after eight years, are continuing to submit their data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse. It really is valuable to the team and has really helped us to understand what is going on up there!

We will continue to monitor the telemetry over the next few weeks and plan to return  FUNcube-1 to nominal autonomous operation, with the transponder on when the spacecraft is in eclipse, as soon as possible.

Interestingly, it appears that we will not be having any more “full sunlight” periods for the foreseeable future., however those that we have experienced have provided some good data on how hot a 1U CubeSat can become in such circumstances!

Virgin Island Amateur Radio Group bolsters repeater infrastructure

An ARDC grant will enable the group to purchase backup repeaters, improve repeater coverage, and train and outfit new hams

When two Category 5 hurricanes hit the Virgin Islands in 2017, hams there knew they had to do something. The two monster storms destroyed 95% of St. Croix's electric utility poles, and many antenna towers were down. As a result, the USVI Government's primary land-mobile-radio (LMR) trunked radio system was essentially non-functional, and the National Guard could not be heard on any radio frequency for a week following the storms.

Territory radio clubs immediately went into action. St. Croix ham operators quickly established a daily high-frequency (HF) net for first response agencies. A single surviving ham repeater provided limited communications between islands. These links provided critical information and communications for governmental and non-governmental agencies including FEMA, Department of Defense, Transportation Security Agency, National Park Service, VI National Guard, Red Cross, and local police and fire services.

A $27,955 grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) will help them bolster the amateur radio infrastructure and train new amateur radio operators, thereby improving their ability to respond to disasters in the future. The funds will allow the Virgin Islands Amateur Radio Group (VIARG) – a group formed after the 2017 hurricanes – to purchase backup repeaters, commercial-grade antennas that will improve the resiliency and coverage of the repeaters, and training materials to help new amateurs get licensed and on the air.

VIARG President Fred Kleber, K9VV (NP2X) commented, "The generous ARDC grant will allow VIARG to improve and harden the territory's critical amateur repeater system, and adding digital communications capabilities marks a new chapter for new and future territory amateurs."

About Virgin Island Amateur Radio Group (VIARG)
The Virgin Islands Amateur Repeater Group (VIARG) was formed in 2017 following devastating twin Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria in the territory of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). VIARG's primary goal is implementing, maintaining and expanding a linked repeater system to connect USVI hams and promote amateur radio in the Territory. By doing so, VIARG supports its federal and territorial partners, as well as other non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Learn more about amateur radio in the United State Virgin Islands at vihamradio.org.

About ARDC
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a California-based foundation with roots in amateur radio and the technology of internet communication. The organization got its start by managing allocations of the AMPRNet address space, which is designated to licensed amateur radio operators worldwide. Additionally, ARDC makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio's practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. Learn more about ARDC at ampr.org.

CWops is Inviting Nominees for its Award for Advancing the Art of CW

CWops is now accepting nominations for its 2022 Award for Advancing the Art of CW. This prestigious award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations that have made the greatest contribution(s) toward advancing the art or practice of radio communications by Morse code (CW).

Candidates may be:

  • authors of publications related to CW
  • CW recruiters, trainers, mentors, coaches, and instructors
  • public advocates of CW
  • organizers of CW activities
  • designers and inventors who advance the art or practice of CW
  • others who contribute to the art or practice of CW.
  • This award is not limited to radio amateurs or their organizations.

Anyone may submit a nomination to awards@cwops.org, with a copy to secretary@cwops.org. Submissions will be acknowledged via email. Nominations must be received by March 18, 2022, and include a detailed explanation supporting the nominee’s qualifications, name(s) and call sign(s), and contact information. Also include the name, call sign, and email address of the individual submitting the nomination.

The award will be presented at Dayton Hamvention

Haiti International Friendship ARC to set up emergency communications network

ARDC grant will enable the club to set up HF stations to provide emergency communications to remote areas cut off by the August 2021 earthquake.

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14, 2021 has shown that there is an urgent need for better emergency communications in the nation. The earthquake completely cut off communications to some areas of the country, and emergency responders were unable to get information on the extent of the damages and what supplies and equipment were needed. This lack of communications capability hindered the ability of responders to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

In order to help deal with this disaster and future disasters, the Haiti International Friendship Amateur Radio Club (HIFARC), in coordination with the Radio Club d’Haiti, plans to set up a shortwave (HF) emergency communications network. Haitian amateurs have identified six sites where stations could be located, and HIFARC plans to provide this equipment and the personnel to set up the stations.

To fund this project, Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) awarded HIFARC $14,864. These funds will allow HIFARC to outfit each of the six stations with a small generator, an HF transceiver, a power supply, and a wire antenna. The grant includes shipping costs from the USA to the six destinations in Haiti.

About Haiti International Friendship Amateur Radio Club

Haiti International Friendship Amateur Radio Club (HIFARC) is a charitable organization whose mission is to foster international friendship and support amateur radio in Haiti. The organization includes members from 18 different countries, who promote the amateur radio ideal of international goodwill. Working closely the Radio Club d’Haiti (RCH), HIFARC helps train new hams and to bolster the emergency communications network there. Learn more about HIFARC at https://www.facebook.com/HIFARC/.

WEEKEND EDITION: Another nice day on the rock.....

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The Rebirth of Homebrew

On the 12th of December 1961, before I was born, before my parents met, the first amateur radio satellite was launched by Project OSCAR. It was a 10 kilo box, launched as the first private non-government spacecraft. OSCAR 1 was the first piggyback satellite, launched as a secondary payload taking the space of a ballast weight and managed to be heard by over 570 amateurs across 28 countries during the 22 days it was in orbit. It was launched just over four years after Sputnik 1 and was built entirely by amateurs for radio amateurs.

In the sixty years since we've come a long way. Today high school students are building and launching CubeSats and several groups have built satellites for less than a $1,000. OSCAR 76, the so-called "$50SAT" cost $250 in parts. It operated in orbit for 20 months. Fees for launching a 10cm cubed satellite are around $60,000 and reducing by the year.

If that sounds like a lot of money for the amateur community, consider that the budget for operating VK0EK, the DXpedition to Heard Island in 2016 was $550,000. Operation lasted 21 days.

I'm mentioning all this in the context of homebrew. Not the alcoholic version of homebrew, the radio amateur version, where you build stuff for your personal enjoyment and education.

For some amateurs that itch is scratched by designing and building a valve based power amplifier, for others it means building a wooden Morse key. For the members of OSCAR it's satellites. For me the itch has always been software.

Sitting in my bedroom in the early 1980's, eyeballs glued to the black and white TV that was connected to my very own Commodore VIC-20 was how I got properly bitten by that bug, after having been introduced to the Apple II at my high school.

I'm a curios person. Have always been. In my work I generally go after the new and novel and then discover six months down the track that my clients benefit from my weird sideways excursion into something or other.

Right now my latest diversion is the FPGA, a Field Programmable Gate Array. Started watching a new series by Digi-Key about how to use them and the experience is exhilarating.

One way to simply describe an FPGA is to think of it as a way to create a virtual circuit board that can be reprogrammed in the field. You don't have to go out and design a chip for a specific purpose and deal with errors, upgrades and supply chain issues, instead you use a virtual circuit and reprogram as needed. If you're not sure how powerful this is, you can program an FPGA to behave like a Motorola 65C02 microprocessor, or as a RISC CPU, or well over 200 other open source processor designs, including the 64-bit UltraSPARC T1 microprocessor.

I'm mentioning this because while I have a vintage HP606A valve based signal generator that I'm working on restoring to fully working. Homebrew for me involves all that the world has to offer. I don't get excited about solder and my hands and eyes are really not steady enough to manage small circuit designs, but tapping keys on a keyboard, that's something I've been doing for a long time.

Another thing I like about this whole upgraded view of homebrew is that we as radio amateurs are already familiar with building blocks. We likely don't design a power supply from scratch, or an amplifier, or the VFO circuit. Why improve something that has stood the test of time? In my virtual world, I too can use those building blocks. In FPGA land I can select any number of implementations of a Fourier Transform and test them all to see which one suits my purpose best.

In case you're wondering. My Pluto SDR is looking great as a 2m and 70cm beacon, transmitting on both bands simultaneously. It too has an FPGA on board and I'm not afraid to get my keyboard dirty trying to tease out how to best make use of that.

What homebrew adventures have you been up to?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

and then I woke up....

ISS SSTV Dec 1-2 145.800 MHz FM

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120

The transmissions are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will be made from the amateur radio station RS0ISS in the Russian ISS Service module (Zvezda) using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver.

December 1, 2021 (Wednesday) from 12:10 GMT until 19:10 GMT*

December 2, 2021 (Thursday) from 11:40 GMT until 17:20 GMT*

*Dates and times subject to change.

The signal should be receivable on a handheld with a 1/4 wave whip. If your rig has selectable FM filters try the wider filter for 25 kHz channel spacing.

You can get predictions for the ISS pass times at

Visualizations show the extensive cloud of debris Russia’s anti-satellite test created

It’s going to be a problem for years, if not decades

Satellite trackers have been working overtime to figure out just how much dangerous debris Russia created when it destroyed one of its own satellites early Monday — and the picture they’ve painted looks bleak.

Multiple visual simulations of Russia’s anti-satellite, or ASAT, test show a widespread cloud of debris that will likely menace other objects in orbit for years.

Early this week, Russia launched a missile that destroyed the country’s Kosmos 1408 satellite, a large spacecraft that orbited the Earth roughly 300 miles up. The breakup of the satellite created at least 1,500 pieces of trackable fragments, according to the US State Department, as well as thousands of smaller pieces that cannot be tracked.

All of those pieces are still in low Earth orbit, moving at thousands of miles an hour and posing a threat to any objects that might cross their path. Initially, that even included the International Space Station, with crew members on board forced to take shelter in their spacecrafts as the debris cloud from the satellite passed by the ISS a couple of times.



FRIDAY EDITION: How about those Patriots and Mac Jones and that defensive unit? ....

Forget radio - Transmitting with neutrons

Throughout history, people have devised ways to send information across long distances. For centuries we relied on smoke signals, semaphores, and similar physical devices. Electricity changed everything. First the telegraph and then radio transformed communications. Now researchers at the University of Lancaster have demonstrated another way to send wireless data without using electromagnetic radiation. They’ve harnessed fast neutrons from californium-252 and modulated them with information with 100% success.

The setup was interesting. The radioactive material was encased in a cubic meter steel tank filled with water. A pneumatic system can move the material to one edge of the tank which allows fast neutrons to escape. A scintillating detector can pick up the increased neutron activity. It seems like it is akin to using what hams call CW and college professors call OOK (on off keying). You can do that with just about anything you can detect. A flashlight, knocking on wood, or — we suppose — neutrons.

We wondered what the practical application of this might be. The paper suggests that the technique could send data through metal containment structures like those of a nuclear reactor or, perhaps, a spacecraft where you don’t want anything unnecessarily breaching the containment. After all, neutrons cut through things that would stop a conventional radio wave cold.

It seems like you only have to prove you can detect something to make this work — it really doesn’t matter what it is you are detecting. It seems like it would be much harder to do more advanced types of modulation using neutrons. Maybe this is why we don’t hear aliens. They are all Morse code operators with neutron-based telegraphs.



JMU takes to the sky with first high altitude balloon test

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison University announced the launch of “Hi-SAT One” which is the first launch of their planned high altitude balloon tests.

The balloon launched on Sunday, Nov. 7., rising to an altitude of over 60,000 feet, and had a total flight time of three hours.

The JMU DukeSAT team behind the launch is made up of past and present JMU students, faculty members, and members of Staunton and Harrisonburg ham radio operator clubs.

With the MESHSat project, JMU DukeSAT team hopes to develop and test a mesh network, or wireless internet, in space using small satellites.

The “Hi-SAT One” flight is the first step in the process to show the team’s ability to launch, track, document and recover a payload. The next stage in the process will involve launches of balloons with networking hardwa

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #46:

DX Bulletin 46 ARLD046
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT November 18, 2021
To all radio amateurs

ARLD046 DX news

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by AA3B, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

MAURITIUS, 3B8. Operators G0CKV, KX7M, M0CFW, M0SDV and W6NV will be QRV as 3B8/home calls, and 3B8HA, from November 22 to December 1. Activity will be on the HF bands. They will be active as 3B8M in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL 3B8M and 3B8HA via M0OXO, and all others via operators' instructions.

UGANDA, 5X. John Paul, KN6NNF is QRV as 5X3Z from Kubamitwe. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using FT8. QSL via LoTW.

SOMALIA, 6O. Ali, EP3CQ is QRV as 6O1OO from Mogadishu until the first week in December while on work assignment. Activity is mostly on 40, 30 and 20 meters using FT8 and FT4, but also CW and SSB. QSL direct to home call.

BAHRAIN, A9. Members of the Bahrain Amateur Radio Society are QRV with special event call sign A91WTVD until November 21 to commemorate World Television Day. QSL via EC6DX.

BAHAMAS, C6. Brian, ND3F will be QRV as C6AQQ from New Providence Island, IOTA NA-001, from November 24 to December 7. Activity is on the HF bands. He plans to be active in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry. QSL via EA5GL.

COMOROS, D6. Don, K6ZO will be QRV as D60AB from November 22 to 29. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS. Lee, DS4NMJ is QRV as DT8A as part of a scientific team on the King Se-Jong Korean Antarctic Base on King George Island, IOTA AN-010, until December 31. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via DS5TOS.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, E7. Special event call sign E7BOSNIA is QRV from the ancient royal cities of Bobovac, Visoko, and Jajce until November 28 to celebrate Statehood Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina. QSL via the bureau.

SPAIN, EA. Special event station AM500ESP will be QRV from November 20 to 27 to commemorate Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. Activity will be on the HF, and V/UHF bands using CW, SSB, SSTV and various digital modes. QSL via EA7URF.

MAYOTTE, FH. Don, K6ZO is QRV as FH/K6ZO until November 22. Activity is on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to home call.

ST. BARTHELEMY, FJ. Dario, KP4DO is QRV as FJ/KP4DO until November 24. Activity is mainly on 20 meters, but also on 40, 17, and 10 meters as propagation permits. QSL direct to home call.

ARUBA, P4. John, W2GD will be QRV as P40W from November 22 to 20. Activity will be on 30, 17 and 12 meters as time permits. He will be active in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL direct to N2MM.

BONAIRE, PJ4. Operators K4BAI and KU8E will be QRV as PJ4/home calls from November 24 to December 1. Activity will be on the HF bands. They will be active as PJ4A in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL all calls to K4BAI.

MALI, TZ. Ulmar, DK1CE is QRV as TZ1CE from Bamako until December 8. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, possibly SSB, and FT8. QSL to home call.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, V2. Bud, AA3B, will be QRV as V26K from Antigua, IOTA NA-100, from November 21 to 29. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW. This includes being active in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry. QSL to home call.

BELIZE, V3. Damian, G4LHT is QRV as V31HT from San Pedro Ambergris Caye until November 29. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using SSB and FT8. QSL via G4LHT.

ANTARCTICA. Sebastian, SQ1SGB is QRV as VP8/SQ1SGB while working on the Halley VIa Base until the end of January 2022. Activity is in his spare time on 40 meters using SSB. QSL via EB7DX.

INDIA, VU. Special event station AU2JCB will be QRV from November 19 to December 14 to commemorate Jagadish Chandra Bose's birthday. Activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB, with FM on 10 meters and 6 meters. QSL direct to VU2DSI.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The ARRL SSB Sweepstakes Contest, ARRL EME Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint, YO International PSK31 Contest, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, LZ DX Contest, All Austrian 160-Meter CW Contest, REF 160-Meter Contest, Feld Hell Sprint, RSGB 1.8 MHz CW Contest, Homebrew and Oldtime Equipment Party, FISTS Sunday CW Sprint and the Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

Please see November QST, page 79, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest web sites for details.

THURSDAY EDITIION: Wow, it's gong to be 60 degrees today and sunny, It has been a great fall! ...

Russia's Destruction of an Orbiting Satellite Raises Space Debris Concerns

Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon on November 15, destroying one of its own old and defunct satellites, Kosmos 1408. Launched in 1982, Kosmos 1408 was some 300 miles above Earth. Its destruction generated a debris field in Earth orbit that prompted the seven International Space Station crew members, including one Russian cosmonaut, to take cover in their crew capsules for several hours, in case they had to abandon the station. Occupants of the Chinese space station are reported to have taken similar action. The incident also has generated criticism from many corners and a grave discussion on the possible impact of any future such tests, by Russia or anyone else.

The danger of damage to the ISS or an orbiting satellite aside, tracking a debris field that could include thousands of pieces, in order to head off collisions, is a concern all its own. Very small debris in space is essentially impossible to track reliably, if at all. The incident also comes at a time when the number of spacecraft in Earth orbit continues to grow. AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, said that Russia’s action will pose a threat to all activities in low Earth orbit for years to come, placing satellites and human spaceflight missions at risk.

“Space is already crowded, but now there are at least 1,500 trackable fragments and, possibly, hundreds of thousands of smaller yet still-threatening pieces of debris in low Earth orbit,” Bankston said. “While space stations have the capability to move out of the way, with sufficient notice, most satellites in low Earth orbit, including those designed, built, launched, and operated by AMSAT, do not. As such, they face greater risk of catastrophic destruction or degraded mission functionality, if struck by fragments from Russia’s destruction of Kosmos-1408.”

Bankston said AMSAT is closely monitoring the situation and hoping for the best.

NASA Chief Bill Nelson echoed Secretary of State Antony Blinken in expressing his own outrage at Russia’s action. “Their actions are reckless and dangerous threatening as well the Chinese space station at the taikonauts on board,” he said. “The [ISS] is passing through or near the cloud every 90 minutes, but the need to shelter for only the second and third passes of the event was based on a risk assessment made by the debris office and ballistics specialists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,” Johnson explained.

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington condemned the incident as “irresponsible” and noting that orbital debris fields pose a threat to hopes for the peaceful use of space and “make the work of using space complicated and difficult,” he said in a statement. “For decades to come, they stifle scientific research, inhibit communications, and pose threats to the lives of explorers. And in the here and now, they pose a great threat to [existing] satellites of all nations” deployed for peaceful purposes.

“No one owns space,” Simington said. “And no one should intentionally make it more difficult to use.”

The FCC’s orbital debris rules date back to 2004, when the FCC adopted requirements affecting not only Part 97 Amateur Service rules but Parts 5 (experimental) and 25 (communications satellites) The FCC has made it clear that orbital debris rules apply to amateur satellites, in general requiring submission of an orbital debris mitigation plan with each license application.

QSO Today - Nelson Farrier, NF7Z

Nelson Farrier, NF7Z, is a relatively recent new ham, a retired middle school teacher of STEM learning to children, and a graduate of the ARRL Teacher Institute.

He has some refreshing insight into what we as an amateur radio community do better to relate to children and strengthen our numbers with younger hams.

NF7Z is my QSO Today

Listen to the podcast

Radio ham signs to Cooking Vinyl for debut solo album

Radio amateur Dave Rowntree M0IEG has signed to Cooking Vinyl. His debut solo album is expected to be released in 2022

Music Week reports:

Dave Rowntree said: "As a kid I used to spend hours spinning the dial on my radio, dreaming of escape to all the places whose exotic stations I heard. I've tried to make an album like that - tuning through the spectrum, stopping at each song telling a story about a turning point in my life, then spinning the dial and moving on. I'm very excited to be releasing the album on Cooking Vinyl next year."

Read the Music Week story at

What Ham Radio can teach us about power efficiency

In her article Jennifer Sensiba K3JEN reminds us the 'QRP' corner of the amateur radio hobby has been pioneering doing something with almost nothing for decades

She writes:

To better understand how these “efficiency nerds” have helped the world, we need to look at what it’s possible to do now. It turns out that the work of “silly” energy efficiency hobbyists can do a lot of good in the world.

Some of them made it a point to see just how little power they could use exchanging messages around the world, and this is known in the ham world as QRP. The challenge is to communicate on 5 watts or less. The easiest thing to do in the beginning was to use better and better antenna systems to get the most range out of those 5 watts, but the use of Morse code and then computers allowed the power levels to go even lower. As computers have become more capable, signal analysis has improved to the point where some operators are sending signals thousands of miles with only a few millionths of a watt.

Read her article at

What is Amateur Radio?

Free UK amateur radio Online Training course

Jeanette KN6DAD used WSPR data to investigate Sporadic E

The EI7GL blog reports on the recent TAPR PSR newsletter article titled 'Detecting Putative Sporadic E Propagation in WSPRNet Spot Records'

Jeanette Zhou KN6DAD outlined how she used data from the WSPRnet website to investigate Sporadic-E propagation.

She writes... "WSPRNet propagation data were downloaded from http://wsprnet.org/drupal/downloads  and solar indices were from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) (gfz-potsdam.de) in February, 2021.

WSPRNet spot records of 28, 50, and 144 MHz transmissions during 2020 were then used for the analysis, combining related spot records with the same timestamp and sender call sign to remove duplicates.

Putative sporadic E propagations were identified as when a transmission’s distance was about 1200 km in the above identified bands; the total number of records used for the analysis was 1,118,989. "

Read the EI7GL blog at

Read Jeanette's article published in TAPR PSR #150 page 7

WEDNESDAY EDITION: A little cold on the rock this morning, taking another truck load of leaves to the dump on my agenda ....CQ  magazine still having problems getting issues out on a timely basis, now QST faces a paper shortage and late delivery issues, you can still get the digital issue online.....

Find out why we say "Mayday" when we're in distress

"Mayday!" is an international distress call, airplane pilots, boat captains and some emergency response personnel use it.

We began to use this word just after World War I, as nations around the world realized we needed some word everyone would understand, besides the Morse code SOS.

Because air traffic was building between London and Paris, the radio experts decided on a French word
"Mayday," the French pronunciation of "m'aider" ("help me").

The U.S. started to use it in 1927, and you say it three times to get attention. But there’s another signal that means we've got a problem but it's less urgent than a Mayday. Your boat ran out of fuel, or you've had a breakdown.

Again, we go to French and say "pan-pan."

In French, a panne is a breakdown, a mechanical failure. In English, we pronounce it PAHN and sometimes PAN.

P-A-N can also sand for something: “possible assistance needed” or “pay attention now.”

Space Weather and the Russian ASAT strike

Yesterday, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites, Kosmos 1408, creating a debris field in Earth orbit that briefly threatened the International Space Station.

Today's story explains why ASAT tests and space weather can be a dangerous combination. During strong geomagnetic storms, satellite operators can easily lose track of debris, turning space into a shooting gallery with little chance of collision avoidance.

Full story @ Spaceweather.com.

Radio amateurs assist in rescue of firefighters buried in cave

On Sunday, October 31, the State Network of Emergency Radio amateurs REER-SP provided support in the care of the disaster that occurred in Altinópolis / SP

A translation of the LABRE post reads:

Twenty-eight civilian firefighters were carrying out an exercise in the Two Mouths Cave when part of the cave collapsed, leaving nine deaths among the victims buried. The search and rescue operations were carried out by the Fire Department of SP, with the support of the State Civil Defense.

THE REER-SP had important participation providing communication between the Command Post, installed about 800m from the basement, and the rescue area, difficult to access. To overcome this distance, it took between 30 and 40 minutes of narrow trail walking in dense forest. The volunteers of REER-SP involved the work in the early hours of the morning, continuing until 8 pm.

The participation of the radio amateurs was effective, providing infrastructure and radio equipment to enable communication between the Operation Command and the rescue teams, who were without contact due to lack of telephone signal or internet. The support of the radio amateurs brought greater agility to the operations, enabling the command to receive and transmit messages directly to the rescue team.

We're sorry for the nine fatalities, we offer condolences to the family members.

Emergency Radio Communications event in Switzerland

This year's Swiss Emergency Radio Communications event took place on November 13

Switzerland's national amateur radio society, USKA, reports among those taking part was the newly formed Funk- und Technikverein Solothurn (HB9FTS).

In August 2021, several radio amateurs, CB radio operators and technically interested persons joined forces and founded the Funk- und Technikverein Solothurn

In addition to practicing our hobby, they also want to be active in emergency radio. Emergency radio (or disaster radio) is the radio operation with which radio amateurs provide assistance in emergency and disaster situations as part of their communication possibilities. Radio amateurs support aid organizations and other authorities and organizations.

The organizations EVU Nordwestschweiz, IPARC Switzerland and the Radio and Technology Association Solothurn HB9FTS took part in this event together. Shortwaves, CB, PMR, VHF and UHF radios and a new Data Hi Speed Network (AREDN) were used.

A video of the SEC can be seen at


TUESDAY EDITION: Going to Doc at 9, last appt. for my shoulder repair, now on to my good knee. I might need a little cleaning up inside the knee..great getting old.....Thanks Rusky's.....

What's wrong with this?

December 2021 Issue of QST to Mail Mid-Month, Arrive Thanksgiving Week

Due to the widespread paper shortage and related supply chain issues, the December 2021 issue of QST will mail approximately one week later than usual, arriving in homes the week of November 22.

ARRL members can read the digital edition of the December issue now, at http://www.arrl.org/qst.

MONDAY EDITION: Good morning hamsters, another day in paradise here, sunny, warm and plenty to do today...We just got the Icom 7300 on the air remotely using the remotehams.com client software. It is available to members of the club after a brief training program. We give the newcomers the ability to listen only for 30 days and then add transmit capability. It does the trick and is hooked up to our G5RV antenna with a ldg autotuner and is good for 10-40 meters. Good deal....


Peter Cantara, KI1M - SK
Salem, New Hampshire
It is with a sad heart that Ham Radio Outlet announces that Peter Cantara, KI1M, is now a silent key. Peter worked at Rivendell Electronics before moving to HRO in Salem, NH in 1997. Peter, an Extra Class licensee, later became the manager of the Salem store, a position he held for several years. He had an incredible work ethic and would regularly come to the store on his days off, just to help out. Peter was loved by his coworkers and will be sorely missed.
Peter Cantara 11/8/62 - 11/10/21

October 2021 Volunteer Monitor Program Report


The Volunteer Monitor (VM) Program is a joint initiative between ARRL and the FCC to enhance compliance in the Amateur Radio Service. This is the October VM Program report.

  • Technician operators in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Texas, received Advisory Notices after making numerous FT8 contacts on 40 and 20 meters. Technician licensees are not allowed to transmit data on 40 meters and have no operating authority on 20 meters.

  • Operators in Mims, Florida; Moorefield, West Virginia; State Road, North Carolina, and Grottoes, Virginia, received Advisory Notices concerning excessive SSB bandwidth on 40 and 75 meters. The operator in Moorefield, West Virginia, previously received an Advisory Notice for out-of-band operation on 7.138 MHz. His case will be referred to the FCC for further enforcement action, which could include removal of voice privileges from, or revocation of, his General-class license.

  • An operator in Cave Creek, Arizona, received an Advisory Notice for making lengthy transmissions without identifying as required by Commission rules.

  • An operator in Highlandville, Missouri, was reminded that a beacon on 30 meters cannot be automatically controlled, pursuant to 97.203(d) of the Commission’s rules, and must have a control operator present at all times of transmission. He was further advised that the FCC may request a schedule of control operators and their duty hours.

  • The final totals for monitoring in September were 1,909 hours on HF frequencies and 2,716 hours on VHF frequencies and above, for a total of 4,625 hours.

There was one recommendation to the FCC for case closure and renewal of a license, and one request to review a license application. The FCC referred two cases to the VM Program. — VM Program Administrator Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Defeating the Pitfalls of Predicting HF Propagation

As you might know, I like to transmit with as little power as possible, known as QRP operation. My own station runs at 5 Watts, since on HF, that's as low as my radio will go. I could go lower by turning down the microphone gain, which interestingly is how some radios actually operate, but for now, 5 Watts seems to be a good starting point and truth be told, even though I've been here for a while, I feel like I'm learning something new every day.

One of the largest challenges associated with using low power on HF is propagation on the HF bands which is more fluid than ever. There's plenty of variables. For example, in addition to the day-night cycle, there's Earth's magnetic field, the impact from coronal mass ejections as well as the solar cycle. As that cycle waxes and wanes, or in my case, wanes and waxes, propagation trends are affected on a longer term basis.

There's all manner of tools to explore this. The Australian Space Weather Service is one of many such bodies that create ionospheric prediction maps showing frequencies and their propagation through the ionosphere. Then there's the derivative ones that use this data to declare if a band is open or closed, spread widely across the globe with little in the way of context, like time, or location.

There are tools like VOACAP which attempt to predict the point-to-point path loss and transceiver coverage dependent on antennas, solar weather and time and date. They also attempt to arrive at a so-called MUF, the Maximum Usable Frequency, defined as the highest frequency at which ionospheric communication is possible for 50% of the days in a month. The LUF, the Lowest Usable Frequency is defined as the frequency at which communication is possible 90% of the days of the month.

All these tools have one thing in common. They're predictions and forecasts. They reflect an attempt at quantifying reality. There is a place for this, but my often repeated encouragement of getting on air to make some noise is advice that covers the gap between prediction and reality.

I've long been a fan of using Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, or WSPR as a tool to measure actual propagation. What I like most about it is that it can be used on your own station, using your own antenna, at any time.

It occurred to me the other day that there must be a relationship between a WSPR signal and a voice signal. Not a mathematical one, but one that makes the difference between establishing a voice contact with another station and calling CQ until you're blue in the face.

With that in mind I took a leap and purchased a ZachTek Desktop WSPR transmitter, capable of operating on all the HF bands that my license permits. It was shipped from Sweden this week and it is expected to take more than a month to get to me, likely most of that travelling between Sydney and Perth, but when it does, I'll be able to set up my own in-house 200 milliwatt beacon that will show me just how far my signal goes on the bands that I pick. As an aside, I'm still looking for a similar solution for 2m and 70cm since there are all manner of interesting propagation phenomena associated with those bands as well.

I'm still digging into how I can best gather the reception data to visualise it and I'm working on a strategy that can send me an alert when a particular band is open from my station at such a level that I can look to operating a particular mode, like FT8, or SSB, or anything that I might choose.

The data is public, thanks to the various WSPR reporting systems around, so others in my grid square, likely beyond that, will also be able to benefit from my beacon. I'm considering generating a propagation map from my own station and publish that, but it's too early to say what's involved in making that happen.

Right now I've dived into the rabbit-hole associated with finding a suitable antenna. My current station vertical requires a tuner and I don't think that finding a way to tune my antenna every time the beacon changes band is a good solution.

I suspect that I'll also need to come up with a way to have two transmitters share the same antenna, but I'll cross that bridge when I need to.

Once the beacon arrives, it's my intention to start with 10m as my beacon band using my current antenna, since 10m is on the verge of being useful for my QRP adventures and I must confess, I'm looking forward to making a voice contact with the other side of the planet with my station for the first time in a long time.

What kinds of things can you think of that would benefit from a solution like this?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Introducing the ID-52E D-STAR Digital Handheld Transceiver!

The ID-52E, VHF/UHF dual-band digital transceiver, the latest in a long line of D-STAR handportables from Icom will be available from authorised Icom dealers at the beginning of December.

he ID-52E succeeds the popular ID-51E PLUS2 and is the latest Icom model to work on the D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) network.

What immediately strikes you about this model is its large transflective colour display that makes it easy to see outdoors, even in bright sunlight. The size of the display has also been increased to 2.3 inches from 1.7 inches on the ID-51A/E.

The ID-52E supports Bluetooth communication as standard. You can wirelessly connect to Android devices with the ST-4001A/ST-4001I Picture Utility Software, and RS-MS1A Remote Control Software installed. The optional VS-3 Bluetooth® headset is also available, for hands-free operation.

ID-52E D-STAR Digital Handheld Transceiver Features:

• Simultaneous reception in V/V, U/U, V/U as well as DV/DV.
• Waterfall Scope Function
• Airband reception is expanded from VHF to UHF (225 to 374.995 MHz).
• Can be charged via a micro USB connector.
• Audio output has been increased from 400 mW to 750 mW.
• The latest D-STAR functions allow you to send, receive and view saved photos on an installed microSD card using only the ID-52E.
• Accessories for the ID-51E, including battery packs and microphones, can be used.

In addition to the above, the ID-52E has a variety of other features including DR function with easy set-up, built-in GPS receiver, micro SD card slot, IPX7 waterproof construction (1-metre depth of water for 30 minutes), and Terminal/Access Point modes.

Having many great features, the ID-52E will appeal to not only beginners but for those experienced operators who want to get even more out of the D-STAR network.



STEPHEN: We begin this week with breaking news.
Dayton Hamvention 2022 is not just going to be a premier hamfest but a reunion, as organizers prepare for the first gathering at the Xenia Fairground and Expo Center in Ohio after two years of cancellations. Hamvention's general chairman Rick Allnut WS8G told Newsline in a phone interview that committees have been meeting and volunteers are committed to making up for the time lost to pandemic cancellations.

Hamvention will be happening on Friday May 20th through Sunday May 22nd with an international reception scheduled on Thursday May 19th. Rick said the registration site is already taking bookings from vendors and inside exhibitors and individual visitors can already buy their tickets. All details are available on the hamvention.org website. RIck said: "Tickets are all printed and ready to go."



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Hams have always believed that if you really want something, sometimes it's better to build it yourself. Nowhere is that more evident lately than in Japan, where radio operators were disappointed once again this year by cancellation of that nation's major radio event. Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us more.

GRAHAM: Never mind that the Tokyo Ham Fair was cancelled again this year by the Japan Amateur Radio League because of COVID-19 precautions. The Virtual Ham Festa 2021 has taken its place thanks to the creativity of a group of independent dedicated radio amateurs. Scheduled speakers included Shiro Sakai JH4PHW, explaining the best practices for using eQSL and Yuki Shimizu We JO2ASQ, explaining amateur satellite communications. One of the biggest topics on the agenda was the resurgence of CW.

A true homebrew project built on the Zoom platform, the November 13th hamfest was designed with a Main Stage for seminars and live presentations. Other features included booths and a space for eyeball QSOs. The organising committee was headed by Taka, 7K1BIB, who said that like all major ham radio events, an on-the-air component was also a big part of the plan: As a social experiment an international FT8 QSO Party was to take place on 40 metres in parallel to the virtual event.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The World Wide Flora & Fauna program has welcomed S5FF — Slovenia — and hams there are eager to share the excitement. Ed Durrant DD5LP brings us up to date.

ED: Radio operators in Slovenia held a quiet but well-earned celebration during the first full weekend in November as they marked their nation's arrival as a registered region in the Worldwide Flora & Fauna programme. It was the culmination of two months of intense effort by a team of hams including Mike Gregoric S55GX, who said the team members are all experienced SOTA, IOTA and World Castles Award activators. Mike, who has been a ham since 1995, told Newsline that he realized this past summer that Slovenia needed to organize and become part of the awards programme, which would require adding a national log manager and coordinators. WWFF vice chairman Manfred Meier DF6EX and member administrator Luk Waterschoot ON4BB encouraged the Slovenian team's efforts. Mike, who serves as coordinator, told Newsline that the team pulled all the essential ingredients together, a web page, an S5 logo and the definition of all the new activation areas. Mike said that there are now 191 such sites — and the numbers are growing.

Some other possibilities are growing too: Mike hopes Slovenia's participation will encourage more portable operations and even boost amateur radio tourism from abroad. He told Newsline: [quote] "Everyone can make nature their shack." [endquote]

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you're still waiting for your QSL cards from the three Indianapolis Motor Speedway special events, they're on their way. Jack Parker W8ISH gives us a look behind the scenes of the massive mailing that's been going on.

[sound clip: envelope being cut open]

JACK: That’s the sound of another self-addressed, stamped QSL envelope being opened for processing. Members of the W9IMS Special Event Station gathered to open, separate and then fill-in and mail out thousands of QSL cards following a summer of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

BILL: “This is what we call our Monster card party. We have a few others that we do and then they trickle in all year long.”

JACK: Bill Kennedy, W9YT coordinates the special event stations and the Monster chore stuffing and returning thousands of QSL cards each fall. A behind-the-scenes look at this QSL process found it takes dozens of W9IMS members to get the job done.

BILL: “We have a big following. They want to work us every year and make a big effort to get all three races.”

JACK: W9IMS is the official special event station for three of the IMS races. They operate 24/7 for a week prior to the Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 mile race in May. In August they again fire up the radios for the Brickyard 200-race. A custom-designed QSL card is produced for each race. Those stations who log all three race events receive a special certificate as well. This is the 18th year for this W9IMS special event station. Bill says the summer time operation often reflects the solar cycles. This year’s total contacts fell just short of the 18,000 recorded contacts a few years ago. As the sun cycle fell, so did the total contacts.

Bill: “You could follow the total card by following the solar cycle. As the cycle came down so did our Qs. As the cycle is going back up our Qs are going back up.”

Jack: Bill says this crew has become very proficient in not only logging contacts but in filling out the QSL cards and certificates after the checkered flag falls on the last race of the season.

Bill: “That’s a lot contacts and a lot of cards to do at the end of the year.”

Jack: For Amateur Radio Newsline, this is Jack Parker, W8ISH


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Norwegian Radio Relay League, Norway's national amateur radio organization, is working with a research institute there to help introduce an entry-level amateur radio category that would become available to operators as young as 12 or 13. Operators would be permitted a maximum transmitting power of 10 watts. The goal is to encourage the newest amateurs to build their own simple transmitters and receivers and spur interest in technology and science to complement ther schoolwork. NRRL is working to move this certificate forward with funds provided for the study by the Norwegian Research Council. Norway presently has only one class of radio operators.




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: With the CQ WW SSB contest over, no doubt you have more than a few contest callsigns in your log. How many of them are among the newest from Australia? Let's hear more from Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

JASON: The long-awaited 2 x 1 VK contest callsigns got their first official run on the air during the big CQ WW SSB contest in late October. The Wireless Institute of Australia reports that assignment of the calls by the Australian Maritime College came just in time for the global competition. In fact, three of the WIA's own directors were assigned the calls for use in the competition. Some reports say that many amateurs who heard the new contest calls were at first confused by the unusual single-letter suffixes but everything ultimately ran smoothly. If you have thoughts you'd like to share about Australia's new contest callsigns, the WIA is eager to hear your comments. Send them on to national office at wia dot org dot au (nationaloffice@wia.org.au)

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The late American actress Hedy Lamarr is apparently still a big star as far as the world's amateur radio operators are concerned. The sixth annual Hedy Lamarr Day Net, N9H, drew 190 check-ins from around the world. The special event was held on November 9th on Echolink on what would have been the actress' 107th birthday. Organizer John Derycke (duh-RYE-Key) W2JLD called it the most successful Hedy Lamarr event to date. Hedy Lamarr was being celebrated for her on-screen talents but most especially for her role as co-inventor of a frequency hopping system that prevented jamming of radio signals to torpedos and now forms an important part of today's cell-phone and WiFi networks.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The digital amateur TV magazine known as CQ-DATV, has published its final issue. Geri Goodrich KF5KRN has that story.

GERI: In a publishing lifetime that lasted for eight years with 100 issues, the amateur television magazine CQ-DATV filled a gap left by the demise of two earlier ATV magazines and had been widely read among enthusiasts. That era has ended with the publication of its latest - and last - issue, released in October. The production team's Trevor Brown G8CJS writes in this 100th issue: [quote] "All good things must come to an end and CQ-DATV is no exception." [endquote] The digital-only publication reports that it received more than 500,000 downloads during its lifetime and was welcomed by readers who had lost "Der TV Amateur," published in Germany and "Repeater" published in the Netherlands. CQ-DATV credits Ian Pawson G0FCT who introduced the magazine in 2013 as a digital publication and served as its editor. The magazine, which also became available as a PDF edition, is making all of its 100 issues available for download. They can be obtained by visiting the link that appears in the text version of this week's newscast script on our website arnewsline.org

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Geri Goodrich KF5KRN.


[FOR PRINT, DO NOT READ" https://cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php ]



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Portable radio enthusiasts are thrilled with the news that Parks on the Air has added two new countries. Here's Vance Martin N3VEM with the latest.

VANCE: In Parks on the Air News, in October we welcomed Ireland and India to Parks on the Air! So please join me in saying dia duit and namaste to our newest POTA friends! October was another record-setting month, with an all-time high for both number of activators and number of QSOs, with 1,630 activators making a combined 329,019 QSOs.

In our last news item for the month, POTA is excited to officially announce that for our 2022 summer plaque event, we will be adding several plaques for DX QSOs. There will be up to 6 DX plaques available, pending sponsorship – one each for the most QSOs made as an activator outside of the continental United States for IARU Regions 1, 2, and 3, and 1 each for hunters who make the most QSOs with activators in those same regions. If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring one of these new DX plaques in 2022, please send an email to n3vem@parksontheair.com for details.
This is November 3 Victor Echo Mike with your October Parks on the air Update. Be sure to visit parksontheair.com for information about the program, and pota.app for spotting, park information, leader boards, and more.



In the world of DX, be listening for special event callsigns ON75AF, ON75BAF and ON75BFS from Belgium. These callsigns are helping amateurs in the Belgian Air Force Amateur Radio Association mark the air force's 75 year anniversary. Be listening through the end of the year on HF, VHF and UHF where operators will be using CW, SSB and the digital modes.

In Rwanda, members of the Holy Land DX Group will be using the callsign 9X4X starting on the 24th of November and running through to the 1st of December. Listen for them on 160m through 10m where they will be using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT 8. They will also be in the CQ WW DX CW contest on November 27th and 28th. Send QSLs to Ruben, 4Z5FI.

Ferdy, HB9DSP, becomes a first-time DXpeditioner with the callsign 5Z4/HB9DSP when he operates from Kenya between December 2nd and the 16th. Listen for Ferdy on 20, 15 and 10 meters where he will be using mainly SSB with some FT8. Send QSLs to his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau or LoTW.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Learning about technology isn't always what it seems. As a group of girls in England recently found out, technology can lead to something wonderfully personal....called friendship. Jeremy Boot G4NJH picks up the story from here.

JEREMY: The 11- and 12-year-old girls are called the STEAMettes, a name that's a nod to their shared interest in Science Technology Engineering, Art and Maths. For the past four years the Kent County youngsters have been guided by John Hislop G7OHO, a retired physics teacher and an ambassador in STEM learning. Most recently John has taught them such basics as soldering and the coding of a microbit computer they were going to use to send CW they'd learnt. After Larry Olson W9INE saw a presentation by John and the STEAMettes at the QSO Today ham expo in August, Larry introduced them to Colorado teacher Ravi Davis, KF0FYL. Ravi has several newly licensed hams in her sixth-grade school who have also been coding microbits. Since the STEAMettes have studied Digital Mobile Radio in preparation for their Foundation licence, they put their knowledge to use in a transatlantic QSO on October 29th via DMR. The Colorado students used radios loaned to them by the Estes Valley Amateur Radio Club. Ravi told the local newspaper that this was the first DX contact for her students. They talked about their schools, their lives and the differences in their respective communities. Suddenly, even with 7600 km between them, the students felt none of that distance at all.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

Spain seeks to attract youngsters to amateur radio

Spain's national amateur radio society URE says "If you are young, join the URE and discover amateur radio" and offers both free membership and a free training manual

Amateur radio? Yes, Radio-Afición, the technological and experimental hobby that will hook you forever.

The exciting world of amateur communications opens up before you, a universe of technology and operational challenges, advanced modes of digital communications, via satellite and microwave, ionospheric propagation, radio-sport and radio from the summits, experimenting, construction of antennas and great opportunities to learn and make friends. We are the Union of Spanish Radio Amateurs www.ure.es and we welcome you.

If you are under 18 (and over 14) membership is free (FREE!) and we give you the "exam book" (with a value of 23 euros in the store) that will help you prepare for the exam to obtain your "operator" license. A magnificent informative book that explains all the basic theory of electricity, electronics and telecommunications and the legislation on amateur radio that you should know.

If you are under 25 years of age you will have a 50% reduction of your membership fee, when you have already obtained your operator's license and are already a full member of the URE ("normal" member).

Source URE

Norway looking to introduce Entry Level ham radio license

Norway is planning to introduce a 10 watt Entry Level License that will enable young people 12-13 years old to get started building simple transmitters and receivers

The Norwegian Research Council has given 1 million Kroner (£86,516) to support the project to recruit young radio amateurs.

A translation of a post by Sweden's SSA reads:

Within the framework of its program "Strength of children and young people's digital competence and understanding of digital technology", the Norwegian Research Council has allocated 1 million kroner to the project "Radio Communications Technology for Young People".

The project is carried out by NRRL and the Research Institute of Forsvaret (FFI) and the project manager is Torbjørn Skauli, LA4ZCA. The project aims to increase interest in technology and science in schools. The idea is to introduce amateur radio as a kind of "freely chosen work" in the high schools. The project also includes developing an entry-level certificate, that allows 12-13 year olds to get started with amateur radio.

Norway's communications regulator, NKOM, has received clear directives and work is now done to design certificate requirements and conditions. The project has a clear focus on the "makerspace" phenomenon and wants to encourage young people to start by building simple transmitters and receivers. Therefore, you want a low power limit of a maximum of 10W to avoid interference from home-built appliances, Torbjørn, who is a professor at FFI, has previous experience from voluntary "Code Workshops" in the school where children are taught to program. An important challenge for programming, makerspaces and amateur radio is to get dedicated and trained teachers who can drive the business forward once the project has been ended. SSA looks forward to interesting cooperation with NRRL in this area.

THURSDAY EDITION: Veterans Day Ceremony is being held at the Rockport American Legion Hall this morning with a service done by  the local pastor, music, Air Force speaker, and a firing squad salute. Chesty Puller would be proud....

Veterans Day 2021 Special Events Announced

Amateur radio special events have been announced to commemorate Veterans Day.

In Cleburne, Texas, N5VET has been on the air since November 1 for a 15-day event. Announced frequencies include 7.235, 7,240, 14.045, and 14.255 MHz, although the sponsoring Club KC5NX says it will operate on most bands and modes. QSL to KC5NX.

The K1USN Radio Club will be on the air on November 11 to mark Veterans Day. K1USN will be on the air on the HF bands, SSB, CW, and FT8, 1300 – 2100 UTC. Anyone working K1USN on Veterans Day 2021 can request a certificate. K1USN QSL cards will be available for all contacts. Send a #10 SASE to K1RV or QSL via the bureau.

In New Jersey, Special Event WS2E will operate from High Point State Park on November 11, 1230 – 2330 UTC. This operation will be valid for Parks on the Air (POTA) K-1619). A Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation is also possible. Multiple stations will be on the air. The High Point monument is a tribute to the “glory and honor and eternal memory of New Jersey’s heroes by land, sea, and air in all wars of our country.” It is the highest elevation in New Jersey. Operation will be mostly on SSB and CW, 40 – 10 meters. A certificate and QSL are available. Contact Michael Sorton, WS2E.

An operation from the submarine USS Cobia in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is set for November 12 –13, 1400 – 2100 UTC, sponsored by the USS Cobia Amateur Radio Club (NB9QV). Operation will be on 40 and 20 meters, SSB, ±7.240 and ±14.240 MHz. QSL to W6BSF with a #10 SASE.

The USS Midway Museum Ship special event to mark Veterans Day and the anniversary of the US Marine Corps will take place on November 13, 1700 – 2359 UTC. Listen for NI6IW in San Diego, California. Operation will be on CW and PSK on various HF bands as well as D-Star. QSL with an SASE to NI6IW.


Frequency synthesizers using phase locked loops, PLLs and digital dividers have been used for many years and they are widely used for the local oscillators in many forms of radio: amateur radio equipment as well as domestic radios and professional radios, signal generators, etc. Although other forms of frequency synthesizer are available, the digital PLL variety is probably the most popular.
Website :
Frequency synthesizers using phase locked loops, PLLs and digital dividers have been used for many years and they are widely used for the local oscillators in many forms of radio: amateur radio equipment as well as  domestic radios and professional radios, signal generators, etc. Although other forms of frequency synthesizer are available, the digital PLL variety is probably the most popular.
Electronics Notes has produced a short informative video about digital PLL frequency synthesizers, explaining how a phase locked loop works. This is extended on to show how this technology is used to form a frequency synthesizer by adding some digital dividers to enable a controllable but stable signal can be produced.
The video shows how the basic functional blocks of the reference, digital dividers, phase detector, loop filter, and voltage controlled oscillator all work together to form the frequency synthesizer.
Watch the video;  https://youtu.be/5K7Pvc5fxZI

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I haven't been on the air for a few days so will catch up, today, hopefully 10-15 show a little life...no real ham news today becaue there isn't any...

FACT: Incans were really good at brain surgery

As long as human beings have been walking around the planet, we’ve been getting into situations and fights where a head can get seriously bonked. And as anyone who has taken a tumble and hurt their noggin, the consequences can be pretty dire if the head injury is serious—and treatment has to happen pretty quickly. Before the era of modern medicine, there was a way to relieve pressure after a head injury, called trepanation. Trepanning, is, in its simplest form, drilling a hole into a live person’s head to relieve that trauma.

There has been evidence of folks scraping off layers of a live person’s literal skull for thousands of years—sometimes dating back as far as the neolithic era in Europe. And this kept going until relatively recently—as recent at least as the American Civil War. But on the battlefield in the US, people were dying left and right from issues associated with trepanning, namely infection, even though the tools to do the drilling had, in theory, improved.

In fact, trepanation’s golden age was reached years before America existed as we know it today. Skulls discovered in Peru from the Incan era and prior showed remarkable rates of recovery, up to around 80 percent compared to the Civil War’s 50 percent,  even when some patients received as many as seven holes in their heads for various ailments. The researchers who made this discovery also found that trepanation was largely used as emergency medicine, not necessarily as a spiritual practice as some had assumed. Nowadays, a neurosurgeon is probably the best person to call if you hit your head, but the practice is still used in absolute emergencies where medical care is hard to come by. But whatever you do, don’t try trepanning yourself at home, despite what some modern-day pseudoscientists have to say


TUESDAY EDITION: Our local club will hold a monthly meeting this Saturday with lunch and the hands on building of simple antennas, if you are in the Gloucester, MA area stop by and say hello...

Here we take a look at the QYT KT-WP12 mini dual band radio. Or, otherwise known as an ANYSECU WP-9900.

PC ProgramDual BandExternal Speaker/PTTDTMF function, 2 tone, 5tonePatrol functionMonitoring functionTelehalo functionRemote death functionBoot functionAlarm functionCall keyLong distance communication25W power output

Alike, but Not Alike: Broadcast vs Ham Radio

Mark Persons W0MH writes in Radio World that experience in amateur radio can be a boon to the broadcast radio engineer

Mark has worked in broadcasting all his life and received the 2018 Engineer of the Year Award from the Society of Broadcast Engineers, a 5000 member international organization.  In 2020 he was honored with the SBE Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the article he says:

Starting in the 1920s and through the ’60s, almost every broadcast engineer was a licensed amateur radio operator. That has changed a bit, but the importance of being a ham has not.

Both environments involve getting an RF signal from Point A to Point B. But it is interesting to note that radio broadcast and amateur radio are similar and yet so different.

What I find valuable is applying what I know about amateur radio in my work as a broadcast engineer.

And, of course, it works both ways. Forward power, reflected power, transmission line loss, antenna gain, transmitter power amplifier efficiency and path loss are all dictated by the same rules. The mysteries and science of RF propagation to a new broadcast engineer are facts of life for radio amateurs.

Hams deal with the wave propagation challenge every day. Communicating across the world via radio waves may be lost on the internet/millennial generation, but it can be a real challenge for those who want more out of life.

Read the full article at

The impact of photovoltaics...a little lengthy..

Seamus Ei8EP reports on the IARU Region 1 website that the 358 page Final Report on the Study on the evaluation of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive has now been published.

It is publicly available, free of charge, from the Publications Office of the European Union. The Political Relations Committee of the IARU Region 1 responded recently to a European Commission Roadmap on the environmental impact of photovoltaics.

The radio spectrum is an important finite natural resource which must be protected. While PV technology of itself is to be welcomed, the IARU submission pointed out the inherent problems of non-compliant installations, particularly the installation or retro-fitting of optimisers which can produce significant spectrum pollution for very limited efficiency increase.

Crozet Island DXpedition news

The Northern California DX Foundation is pleased to announce it is granting 20,000 USDs to Thierry Mazel, F6CUK, for the 2022 Crozet Island DXpedition planned for December 2022 thru March 2023. Crozet Island is #3 on the ClubLog Most Wanted List world-wide and #2 in North America.

DXpeditions to rare entities like Crozet Island that are so remote are becoming more expensive and more logistically challenging, a trend that we believe will continue. Hopefully this experienced DXpedition operator can exploit this rare opportunity to access Crozet Island, put out an effective signal on all the bands and log all of the needy over the course of his extended stay.

NCDXF's primary purpose is to help fund well-organized DXpeditions to desirable DXCC entities like Crozet Island. During the last 49 years, NCDXF has granted nearly $1.2 million to hundreds of DXpeditions - helping to put an "all-time-new-one" (ATNO) in the log and make DX happen for thousands of DXers worldwide. The credit for these large grants goes to the NCDXF contributors, individuals and clubs who support the DX community. Without those contributions, DXpeditions to entities like Bouvet or other desirable locations would not be possible.

If you agree with the importance of NCDXF's work, and if you are not a current contributor, we hope you will become one today by clicking here (http://www.ncdxf.org). Your contribution will continue to help make DX happen. You can also support future DXpeditions by including the NCDXF Cycle 25 Fund in your estate plan. We wish Thierry a safe and very successful trip to the Island next year.

73, Ned Stearns, AA7A
NCDXF Vice President


K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
W1HHO- Cal...3941 group
K1MPM- Pete...3941 group
WA1JFX- Russell...3941 group
KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3928 afternoons....just don't mention politics to him, please!
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses singl ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .


Silent Key KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
Silent Key Neil -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....